Baseball fans find refuge from a hot day
Story by and Photos by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office
The Houston Astros lead the visiting St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 going into the top of the ninth inning. Music starts blaring over the park's public address system, and the flashing scoreboard indicates to the crowd that closer Brad Lidge is on his way to the mound.
A 2-run lead, ninth-inning anticipation, the promise of a dominant closer earning the save over a first place division rival, yet people in the crowd have already started to leave.
Astros and Cardinals fans alike are streaming toward the exits. Being naturally inquisitive, I followed the flow of humanity to find myself at an establishment directly across the street from the home plate corner of Minute Maid Park.
The Bar at Union Station, or The B.U.S., is a destination for many baseball fans looking for a reprieve from ballpark food and vendor prices.
While the menu definitely has a bar-food theme, featuring boneless buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks and hamburgers; there are several items not listed on the menu that the patrons swear by.
Joey Fink, a manager at the B.U.S. said, "We have a chicken fried steak sandwich that people just go nuts over, it's not on the menu, but everyone knows we serve it."
With that kind of endorsement and the rumbling in my stomach, I had to try one. The sandwich lived up to its billing.
The B.U.S. is already a destination for many servicemembers, "We have a lot of Soldiers come in here. We had a big group come in about a month ago; I don't think any of them had to buy a drink all day. We have a lot of patriotism here in Houston," said Fink.
While taking photographs and notes, I received many questions from the bar patrons. Naturally my affiliation with the military came up, and I can attest to the statement about patriotism in Houston.
Patrons of The B.U.S. engaged in billiards, tabletop shuffleboard, arcade games and lounging in one of the living room style television areas.
Make no mistake about it, The B.U.S. is a sports bar. With its location, the Astros paraphernalia strewn about, and big-screen TVs tuned to various sports channels, the sports atmosphere surrounds you.
The big-screen TVs are surrounded by leather couches and small tables, and the patrons do make themselves comfortable.
Minute Maid Park and The B.U.S. are both very accessible from anywhere in the downtown Houston area. Houston's rail and bus network puts the furthest section of the city about 20 minutes from the ballpark.