It’s been 37 years since the last time the University of Houston men’s basketball team was in the Final Four of the NCAA college basketball tournament. That game, in 1984, was played by the Cougars’ legendary Phi Slamma Jamma, a nickname given to the team that included future NBA stars Clyde Drexler (1980 to 1983) and Hakeen Olajuwan (1981-1984). After beating Virginia in the Final Four, UH would go on to lose to Georgetown in the championship.
Now, almost four decades later, Houston once again has a chance at greatness. The Coogs will play Baylor — a team that hasn’t been to the Final Four since 1950 — in Indianapolis on Saturday, April 3. Tipoff is at 4:14 p.m. And after the year we’ve all had, with a pandemic, hurricanes and a historic freeze, Houston could use a little joy.
As such, a number of local bars and restaurants are hosting watch parties and offering specials — both for dining in or takeout — whether you want to watch the game on a socially-distanced patio, or from the comfort of your own couch. Check out just a few of those deals below, and Go Coogs.
West Alabama Ice House — One of Houston’s favorite spots for sports-watch, West Alabama will have crawfish starting at 1 p.m. at $8 a pound, plus the game on all TVs. 1919 W Alabama Street
Bobcat Teddy’s Ice House — Bobcat Teddy’s will host a Final Four watch party complete with crawfish from Clutch City Crawfish and live music. The game will be shown on all tvs with the sound on. 2803 White Oak Drive
East End Backyard — This Eastside patio bar will show the game on a massive 158-square-foot LED screen, and will have specials from Saint Arnold’s H-Town Pils as well as crawfish. 1105 Sampson Street
Jax Grill — Jax is giving 10% off to fans of either team on Saturday, along with free Mardi gras beads — red for Cougar fans, green for Baylor. Fans of the winning team will also get $5 gift cards for their next visit. Multiple locations
Revelry on Richmond — Thirty-plus TVs will be tuned to the game, and Revelry will also offer drink specials such as Cougar sangria, Cougar ritas, $4 shots and $20 Houston craft beer buckets. 1613 Richmond Avenue
Sticky’s Chicken — Sticky’s co-owner Patsy Vivares is a proud UH alumna, and the restaurant will be offering two free wings to anyone who shows up wearing UH gear on game day. 2311 Edwards Street #190
Hay Merchant — Anytime a Houston sports team is playing, Texas beers are half off at Hay Merchant, and the same holds true for Saturday’s game. Plus, happy hour runs from 5-6:30 p.m., during which diners can snag $1 oysters and $5 gin or vodka martinis. 1100 Westheimer Road
Kenny & Ziggy’s — This deli is offering $1 off pastrami sandwiches all day April 3. Though the deli doesn’t have TVs, the deal is good for dine-in or carry out. 2327 Post Oak Boulevard
Loch Bar — This seafood joint has been hosting watch parties all March Madness long, but for the final four, diners can snag a whole fried chicken and martini package for $50, available April 3 and 5, dine-in only. 4444 Westheimer Road Suite G11
The Den — The original UH campus bar will definitely be packed on Saturday. A rep says they’ll have specials on 8th Wonder’s Cougar Paw Red Ale at $4 a pint, plus more to be announced on the bar’s social media later this week. 4835 Calhoun Road