UPDATED: Top 10 Bars, Clubs & Ice Houses In the East End (or "EaDo")
As our sister blog Eating...Our Words does, from time to time Rocks Off will be giving your our picks for the top taverns in various Houston-area neighborhoods. Of course, the lines can be porous, but here anything with a TABC license that cannot reasonably be considered either a restaurant, coffeehouse or live-music venue is fair game.
The area just east of downtown is a budding neighborhood. It's got plenty of going for it, including the Dynamo's fancy new digs and a new rail line (soon), and may very well be on the verge of a boom.
This makes its nondescript, unnecessarily fancy moniker that much more irritating, but it's what is being used to describe the region, so we'll acquiesce with the label... Begrudgingly. No matter what you call it, there are plenty of bars worth visiting in the area, and we've compiled a list of our favorites for you below.
10. SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY/8TH WONDER BREWERY.
Being placed at the beginning of our list is anything but a snub of Texas' oldest craft brewery, or one of its newest. It's just that, technically speaking, neither one are bars. Still, six days out of seven, Saint Arnold hosts tours and tastings, well worth the $8 admission fee. Don't miss the weekday lunch too, which should give you sufficient motivation to get shit done in the morning.
8th Wonder Brewery, meanwhile, was opened last summer by a trio of craft-beer lovers and now regularly offers the Hopston IPA, Intellectuale blonde ale and Alternate Universe (a German-style altbier) to go with even more specialized test batches like the Rocket Fuel Vietnamese coffee porter. Food is never very far away thanks to the Eatsie Boys food truck -- Eatsie founder Ryan Soroka is also an 8th Wonder partner -- while the brewery has become a cornerstone of the EaDo Pub Crawl, and hosts Dynamo tailgating parties including for Saturday's match against Seattle.
Saint Arnold: 2000 Lyons Ave., 713-686-9494, saintarnold.com
8th Wonder: 2202 Dallas, 713-229-0868, 8thwonderbrew.com
9. HOME PLATE BAR & GRILL
Before, after and even during Astros games, Home Plate Bar & Grill is a bustling establishment and a great spot for pregaming. Home Plate's prices are dirt-cheap compared to those inside the ballpark, and the staff is accommodating, especially on gameday, as is to be expected.
It's a no-frills kind of establishment, but if you're a 'Stros fan, you probably aren't looking for anything too fancy anyway. Just good, cold beer to make the games bearable. Only kidding... kind of.
1800 Texas #100, 713-222-9977, homeplategrill.com
8. GROOVES OF HOUSTON
Be it artists crooning R&B, filling the venue with smooth jazz or causing everyone inside to laugh uncontrollably, Grooves offers a little of something for everyone. VIP rooms are available for reservation, and lines regularly form outside.
Be mindful of the dress code though, so don't show up in baggy jeans and a T-shirt. On-site is a full kitchen, so feel free to come hungry. Or, at the very least, order something to soak up all the alcohol you'll undoubtedly indulge yourself.
2300 Pierce, 713-652-9900, houstongrooves.com
The list continues on the next page.