Yankees fans coming to Houston to watch the last series of the baseball season should know there’s plenty to do before and after the games. During them, too, as far as that goes. Picks for a downtown Houston weekend:
Blondie is playing Friday at Warehouse Live, a short walk from Minute Maid Park. Joining her is the band X. Doors open at 8, show starts at 8:30. If the game goes quickly, you might see both. At 813 Saint Emanuel St. Information: +1-713-225-5483; http://www.warehouselive.com.
Texas guitarist and songwriter James McMurtry performs at 11 p.m. Saturday at the Continental Club, with Jonny Burke opening at 9:30. At 3700 Main St. Information: +1-713-529-9899; http://www.continentalclub.com/Houston.html.
The Cactus Music record store in Montrose offers free concerts and local craft beer on Saturdays. Owen Temple is at 1 p.m. and Yip Deceiver at 3 p.m. Then meet-and-greet with WWE wrestler and Fozzy lead singer Chris Jericho. At 2110 Portsmouth St. Information: +1-713-526-9272; http://www.cactusmusictx.com.
“Nice. Luc Tuymans” opens at the Menil Collection Friday, featuring about 30 works from the Belgian artist’s earliest mature period. Tuymans joins Josef Helfenstein, the Menil’s director, and Toby Kamps, curator of modern and contemporary art, for a conversation at 7 p.m. At 1533 Sul Ross St. Information: +1-713-525-9400; http://www.menil.org.
The Houston Wine Fest features top Texas producers as well as international vintners. There’s craft beer from Houston’s great collection of microbreweries and a cocktail tent. Saturday and Sunday at Hermann Square Park, 900 Smith St., in front of Houston’s 1930s-era City Hall building. Information: http://www.houstonwinefest.com.
Blacksmith, Houston’s hottest coffee spot, made Grub Street’s 58 Extraordinary Coffee Shops list. Try to limit yourself to just one of the biscuits, served with creme fraiche and orange marmalade, or sausage, egg and cheddar cheese. The coffee itself is outstanding. At 1018 Westheimer Rd. Information: +1-832-360-7470.
Head to the Breakfast Klub for biscuits and gravy, catfish and grits, chicken and waffles, and lots of k’s on the menu. Arrive early or be prepared to stand in line. At 3711 Travis St. Information: +1-713-528-8561; http://www.thebreakfastklub.com.
Three new options for brunch both Saturday and Sunday: The Pass & Provisions at 807 Taft St.; +1-713-628-9020; the Hay Merchant at 1100 Westheimer Rd.; +1-713-528-9805; and MKT Bar at 1001 Austin St.; +1-832-360-2222.
Just to the south of Minute Maid Park is Discovery Green, the five-year-old downtown park where the canine aquatics competition, DockDogs, takes place all weekend. Other activities in the park’s 12 acres include a yoga class, kayak rides and model boat rentals. At 1500 McKinney St. Information: http://www.discoverygreen.com.
Houston’s bike-share program makes downtown easier to navigate. For $5 (for 24 hours) visitors get as many 60-minute rides as they can manage among the system’s 27 docking stations. Information: http://houston.bcycle.com.
AFTER THE GAMES
The area around Market Square Park is home to several nifty new bars and the city’s oldest one, too. The Pastry War at 310 Main St., named after a not particularly epic battle between France and Mexico in the 1830s, is dedicated to fine tequila and serves one of Houston’s best margaritas. Just around the corner at 813 Congress Ave., La Carafe operates in the oldest commercial structure still in use in the city.
(Richard Stubbe is the Houston bureau chief and Dan Murtaugh is a reporter for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are their own.)
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