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Five Places to Watch Opening Day. And Drink.

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It's Opening Day. You planned on going to go the stadium ring in Spring and tackle the big, bad Boomstick (above), but then your boss tossed a few extra TPS reports in your inbox. You'll never make it to Arlington on time.

Oh well. You didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on Stubhub for nosebleeds anyway. Hurry up and get those reports filed. Then head to one of these bars to watch the game on your own terms. There will be no Boomstick, but there will be plenty of beer, and you won't need to take out a second mortgage to buy it.

*****

Katy Trail Ice House Two huge high-definition TVs hang on either side of the roll-up door that lets you into the Ice House, and at least half the patio has a good view. And the staff is still pouring one of Dallas' largest selections of Texas beers.

*****

Jake's Jake's casts a green, flickering glow out on the street of most of its locations. Half of it's their neon signs and outdoor lighting, but the other half is all the TVs. There's nothing special going on at Jake's during the game, but happy hour starts at 4 p.m. -- about when the game should end.

*****

City Tavern No patio here, but if beer is your thing, and you're downtown, this is the best place to watch the game. I watched Game Six of the World Series here to a packed house, so there's still a bitter taste in my mouth, but I still love this bar. If you work downtown and want to sneak back into the office after the game and pretend nothing happened, you're all set. Just remember to eat some mints and wipe the chicken wing sauce off your cheek.

*****

St. Pete's Dancing Marlin It's not the bar, though I like it too; it's the bartenders and the patrons. For whatever reason, every time I see the Rangers on at St. Pete's, there's a handful watching every pitch.

*****

Time Out Tavern I stumbled on this sporty dive bar when I had a long wait for a table at nearby NHS. The Tavern has as much sports junk hanging from the walls and ceilings as they do TVs, and the place is no-nonsense when it comes to showing games. I didn't see any baseball here last year, but that's the beauty of Opening Day. There are 162 games ahead of us, and probably as many worthy bars.

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