The Four Best Places to Watch the Final Four
Griff's may be known for St. Patrick's Day, but it's a great sports bar as well.
When it's time for you to reach that "One Shining Moment" that is the NCAA basketball championship, you want a nice, comfortable place to do it. This year, with the Final Four in Houston, you might be tempted to, you know, see it in person. But why? It's expensive, crowded and, let's be honest, impossible to see without binoculars surgically implanted in your skull.
For my money, I'd rather sit on my sofa with a giant pile of takeout fajitas on my coffee table along with a frozen margarita in a sippy cup, but that's me. If you want to associate with other humans while cheering on your favorite college team, sports bars are probably your best bet, and there are some good ones here in the home of this year's Final Four. Here are...well, four of them.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like my bars dark, filled with neighborhood residents and down to earth. Welcome to Griff's in the Montrose. Known for its raucous St. Paddy's Day parties, Griff's also makes for a great place to kick back, enjoy a cold one and watch some unpaid athletes make millions of dollars for a television network...but who's jaded?
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. St. Thomas University Men's Basketball
TicketsWed., Dec. 21, 7:00pm
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl
TicketsWed., Dec. 28, 8:00pm
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. Middle Tennessee State Univ Blue Raiders Mens Basketball
TicketsThu., Jan. 5, 7:00pm
PRCA XTreme Bulls
TicketsFri., Jan. 6, 7:30pm
Perhaps more than any other bar on this list, Lucky's has size going for it. The place is cavernous, with loads of TVs and massive bars. And because it's situated just blocks from three of the four pro sports venues in town, it naturally attracts a crowd that knows when to cheer and when to pipe down. And, if you're hungry, Lucky's has a pretty sophisticated menu of bar grub.
And speaking of food, what is a ball game without a great burger? Christian's has several locations — the one in the Heights is pictured above — and terrific burgers at every one. I favor the original location, on Washington and I-10, because it feels a bit like an icehouse, but they all have great atmosphere and even better food.
For years, Nick's Place has flown under the radar among the general public, probably because of its out-of-the-way location off Westheimer. But for those who have been there, it is one of the best-kept secrets for watching sports in town. There's literally a wall of televisions, and the folks who frequent Nick's are hardcore sports fans, not people who show up to a sports bar once or twice a year. Plus, the bar has a killer Italian menu. If you're getting out for the Final Four this year, Nick's Place might be your place.