Living in the day and age where the attention span of Americans is shrinking, it is no surprise that going out and grabbing a drink just isn't enough for some of us. From skillfully crafted cocktails to eclectic decor, the bar scene in Houston is evolving with the times. As drinking games have been a hilarious source of entertainment at get-togethers and parties, many Houston hot spots are bringing the charm of game night into their bars to create a new dynamic all together. Gamers and sports enthusiasts rejoyce, I have a list of popular gaming restaurants and bars perfect for an "out of the box" celebration.
2006 Walker St.
Located on the edge of downtown, in close proximity to other EaDo staples like Huhyn and Toute Suite, Neil's Bahr is truly a one-of-a-kind gaming zone. The bar itself is decorated in comic book chic— think Superman's basement with an 80s makeover—and even houses a separate room for old arcade games and ping pong. Patrons of the bar are welcome to post up on comfy chairs and couches and battle it out on classic video game consoles. For the controller-challenged, Neil's Bahr also offers a comic book wall, classic board games like Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit and crazy new faves like Cards Against Humanity. While the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man will greet you at the bar, highlighting the selection of local craft beers, the smell of fresh grilled sausages, burgers and hot dogs will greet you on the patio. In addition to these classic grilled items, taco plates are available for a steal at only $4! Any warm-blooded Houstonian to ever crack open a comic book would be overjoyed to partake in a celebration at Neil's Bahr.
Brooklyn Athletic Club
601 Richmond Ave.
Truly a hidden gem in the Montrose neighborhood, Brooklyn Athletic Club is equal parts gaming and dining. A quaint, indoor space houses the kitchen and bar, while the sprawling patio is where all the action takes place. From jumbo Jenga set up on table tops to croquet and bocce ball on the back patio, games are free for all when you dine here. The restaurant spotlights hearty comfort food with a flair, over the top desserts, and a full bar. Popular dishes include Chef Will's chicken-fried steak with black pepper gravy and the spicy seafood puttanesca with Gulf shrimp and mussels. Sunday brunch is just as much a hit with the Montrose crowd, with a dog-friendly outdoor dining area and daily specials like blueberry pancakes and pulled pork hash. Games perfect for groups and delicious lunch, dinner, and brunch selections make for a nice "out of the box" day out.
2416 Brazos St.
While sitting on prime real estate in between Brazos and Bagby, Sage County holds its own by offering party goers more than just a full bar with a midtown view. In addition to Thursday Night Bingo with beer and food specials, the bar invites guests to enjoy corn hole, jumbo Jenga or a game of table tennis. The covered patio is often filled with those who prefer a more laid back environment than say the dancing on the bar scene at Shot Bar next door. Sage County's southern charm has the local crowds casually strolling in daily, making it a neighborhood gem. For an activity-filled birthday or date night while not straying from the heart of Midtown, Sage County is a fun and casual choice.