Mancation Series: Where to Watch the Final Four in Houston
Editor’s Note: With March Madness, Spring Training and music festivals in high gear, spring may just be the manliest season of the year. Please join us in welcoming man’s man Juan Parra as we salute man stuff for The Window Seat’s Mancation Series.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys openly gambling in the workplace, this is your month. Outside of fantasy football, March Madness is corporate America’s pre-eminent gambling competition. And you thought college basketball was irrelevant to your 9 to 5 life.
But I digress. This is a travel column after all, and we’re looking at the best places to watch the games in Houston, the Final Four host city.
Houston is a city with a rich basketball history, both collegiately and in the pros; just ask a local. Houston has passionate fans in everything from basketball to soccer to football, and if you want to get on their good side just mention that you have a disdain for any team from Dallas.
Even if you’re not fortunate enough to catch the games live at Reliant Stadium, you’ll have plenty of options to watch around town. I went straight to a born-and-raised, University of Houston-educated, Rockets lifer for his take on the best places to watch the Final Four. Here’s what he offered:
Porch Swing Pub: There are a number of bars along and near Washington Avenue, and if you find yourself in The Heights and enjoy the open air, Porch Swing Pub is your place. The restaurant/bar has an expansive patio with plenty of seating and flat screens both inside and out. Porch Swing serves 40 beers on tap and is a dog-friendly pub, if you’re traveling with a four-legged friend.
Sawyer Park: Also in The Heights and on Washington Avenue is a relatively new player on the sports bar landscape, Sawyer Park. Everything about Sawyer Park feels urban and modern, from the bottle-adorned ceiling art to the upstairs bar and deck. The bar has a number of appealing daily specials, and the food menu is what you’d expect. At least the lack of creativity has been embraced – among the burger offerings is the “Boring Burger.”
Little Woodrow’s: Little Woodrow’s has locations in Rice Village, on Bellaire Boulevard and in Midtown. The Midtown location is a converted auto shop and features a large outside deck. Little Woodrow’s fancies itself as the ultimate game-watching locale and regularly hosts alumni groups for watching parties. The bar also claims to have an ace up its sleeve – that its micheladas (part beer, part bloody mary) are second to none.
Kentucky Club: Located in the Galleria/Uptown area, the Kentucky Club is sort of discreet in that it’s situated in a small shopping plaza and doesn’t have the look of a bar. The Kentucky Club has the feel of a club and is ideal for the trendier-minded sports fan. If your team is playing poorly, you can distract yourself with the dart boards, foosball and pool tables. Just be careful not to spill your drink on Ed Hardy guy – I hear they can be angry people.
Junction Bar & Grill: This Fourth Ward establishment only looks like a Texas high school fieldhouse. Once you enter the doors, you’ll be greeted by a sleek bar and flat screens in every nook and cranny. If you elect to sit on the patio, you can watch your school and take in the smell of pit BBQ, a Texas staple. If you’re planning to eat here, you may consult your doctor beforehand – there’s a shortage on food that isn’t fried, stuffed or on a stick.
March Madness takes place in 14 cities over four weeks. Since the tournament is organized regionally, there will be a host of games near you no matter where you live.
Photo Courtesy of Porch Swing Pub.
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