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The 8 Best Places to Hang Out Near the Ballpark on Opening Day

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We're days away from the Astros' home opener, and it's time to make some plans. In what is one of the most anticipated seasons in a decade, fans need to be prepared to get their season started on the right foot. Whether you intend to be at Minute Maid Park for the game or want to have a place to watch it with other fans, the best one is close to the ballpark, and here are eight places to do just that.

Perhaps a non-traditional approach that is a few blocks from the stadium, but it does have TVs, a good selection of food and, best of all, live music. On Monday, Sambuca will have wonderful vocalist Yvonne Washington, a perfect way to cap off the first home win of the season.

Hearsay on the Green
One of the coolest places near Minute Maid is the second location of Hearsay Gastro Lounge, on Discovery Green. Grab a seat at the bar and order some fantastic food while either watching the game or getting ready to make your way to the ballpark.

Christian's Tailgate (Downtown)
One of the best burger joints in town is also one of its coolest sports bars. The original location, on Interstate 10 and Washington, may have the history, but the downtown location has a great atmosphere, plenty of big screens and those incredible signature burgers.

One of the more unique options is the bar inside Phoenicia Specialty Foods on Austin Street, just blocks from Minute Maid. MKT routinely has "game nights" during ballgames, with all sorts of board games to complement the game on the big television, great food and plenty of drink. Plus, pick up some groceries before heading home. Bonus!

The Four Seasons Lobby Lounge
With all due respect to every other Houston bar, there is very likely no classier spot for a drink in the city. The low-slung ceilings and quiet music make for a very mellow place to grab a drink or have some bar bites. And there are a few TVs, so you can certainly watch the game, but this is absolutely your best option for a nightcap.

The Balcony Bar
Only a block from the ballpark, The Balcony Bar has the proximity and atmosphere perfect for watching the game or grabbing a beer on the way through the gates. Its location makes it an ideal before-or-after hang, and the patio is one of the best in downtown.

Lucky's Pub
Still one of Houston's biggest and best sports bars, it is within steps of most of the Minute Maid parking lots. There's a hearty menu and plenty of screens for viewing. And if you're in the mood for some South Korean jams, swing next door to Warehouse Live, where South Korean label AMOG will be putting on a show opening night. Or, you know, just head home. Whatever.

Home Plate Bar & Grill
Directly across the street from the ballpark's entrance, this venue is typically packed on game days. Opening day promises the same, and if you don't have tickets but want a raucous environment to cheer on the 'Stros, this is the bar for you.

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