Dixie Chicken - The Oldest Bar on Northgate

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That good ol’ Dixie feeling.

Chicken Stories

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Decades of good times

It may have started as just a bar, all those years ago, but it has been much more than that to many aggies. For over 40 years, we’ve been on Northgate, celebrating the big wins, knocking back a few after a tough test, reminiscing and reconnecting with friends. We’ve been there for the awkward first dates, the 20 year wedding anniversaries, the nights to remember and the nights to forget!

Thank you for your stories.

1975

Fish Pond

When we reached 35 cents each…

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Dixie Chicken - April, 1976

Dixie Chicken - April, 1976

1975

When we reached 35 cents each…

My last semester at A&M I lived in Leggett Hall. Many Friday and Saturday nights would find my roommate and I diving in the fish pond looking for coins, anything at the value of a nickel or more. When we reached 35 cents each, we would change into dry clothes and head to the Chicken for a Lone Star. When we finished that, it was back to the fish pond.

Old Army ’75

Bill Leidner

 

1989

A story about Don

The wire popped and a barb went right across the top of his bald head…

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1989

The wire popped and a barb went right across the top of his bald head…

This story had less to do with the Chicken and more to do with Don but here it is. That year had been dry. Don owned a little place kind of west of town over by the power plant. His cows had gotten out and were running on a much larger place. Don knew this but he did not have any grass so he just left them there. Finally the guy that either owned or leased the other place politely told Don that he was going to take those cows to the sale and where did he need to send the check….LOL. So late one afternoon we had to go out there and find his cows, drive them back to his place, and fix the fence. Now we had never seen his cows and we had never been on the other place which was quite large. Well against all odds we managed to find his cows and get them back. That only left fixing the fence before we could call it a day. There were 4 of us but only Nathan and myself had ever built fence. We were stretching the top wire when Don decided to intervene. He said we had not stretched it enough. We told him nope it is plenty tight. He disagreed as only Don could so we made it tighter and tighter. Finally when you could play music on it he was satisfied. Nathan and I were both concerned that that sucker could pop at any moment so Don grabbed a hammer and a fence staple and started pounding that sucker in. He had one misfire and that was enough. The wire popped and a barb went right across the top of his bald head. It may have bled a little. After that he left the fence building to Nathan and myself.

1983

We’ve been married 35 years this year

In 1983 I met my future wife at the Dixie Chicken…

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1983

In 1983 I met my future wife at the Dixie Chicken…

One perfect summer afternoon in 1983 I met my future wife at the Dixie Chicken. She was sitting a few tables over playing 42, wearing a low cut summer dress with her perfect legs and big blue eyes. I decided I just had to meet her.

I talked my Corps buddy James to go with me to meet her. On the way over James stumbled and knocked the stove and stove pipe over into me. Resulting in me dumping a half-pitcher of Lone Star onto her barefoot. Classic smooth moves for two Ag major cadets.

Fast forward to Fall 1983. We were steady dating, she was a good catch because she could talk JD into a free pitcher with her big blue eyes. One night, she was sitting on my lap while I played 42 with my Corps Zip buddies Dondo, Terry, and Old Man ( Jay). I carved our initials into the tabletop inside a heart.

My nickname was Gramps. I got caught as a freshman one bitter cold morning in Fall 1980 wearing thermal underwear under my uniform at formation. Just like an old Grandpa.

My steady girl and I got married a few years later and raised a family. A couple years ago she went to The Chicken and found “ our table”. And it stunk, like three decades of spilled beer. And bought it. $$$$$. One of the best presents I was ever surprised with. We’ve been married 35 years this year.

The top is worn smooth. I calculated a minimum of 20 domino games a day, for at least 320 days a year, for over 35 years. That table was worn slick with over 200,000 domino games. The tables were old in 1983.

I cut the legs off and hung it on my wall. Our initials are in the lower left corner. My nickname is on the lower right side. Amazing they didn’t get worn off.

Love you sweetheart!

– Louis Peter

2019

The Chicken will be a place we will return to for years to come...

Came back for Dixie Chicken turning 45!

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2019

Came back for Dixie Chicken turning 45!

Since graduation I’ve been itching for an excuse to come back and visit Aggieland. When I discovered that The Dixie Chicken was hosting a birthday celebration I couldn’t think of a better reason to make the trip. My favorite part of the evening was getting a glimpse back into what it felt to be a student at Texas A&M. It felt so natural to be back with everyone enjoying a pitcher and listening to Dub Miller play “The Fighting Texas Aggie Song”.
Some of my most classic memories are those spent during SCONA week. (Student Conference On National Affairs) Every year after long days of discussing the world’s most pressing issues we would always reconvene at the Chicken. It was so fun to share with external delegates from schools such as West Point Academy or the VMI about the Chicken and various Aggie traditions.
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with my friends and family.
So this picture includes my Ring, Robert Crum ‘19 Ag Systems Management and fellow fraternity brother from Alpha Sigma Phi Stuart Dietzmann ‘19 Psychology. And serval buddies of Robbie’s from the E-2 class of 2019. Including Dylan Sutton BIMS, Stephen McLaughlin Comm, and Ruben Fernandes Computer Science. I have spent many a Thursday evening sharing a pitcher with these guys. The Chicken will be a place we will return to for years to come.
Kristi Kelley ‘19 International Studies Major

2014

42, it's the answer to life...

My tenure at A&M was the best four consecutive years of my life

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2014

My tenure at A&M was the best four consecutive years of my life

42. It’s the answer to life, coincidentally, it was the game of my life at the Chicken. I shot pool a lot as well, but most of my faded memories involve playing Bones. With my fish buddies, with old friends and new, it was a staple. I actually learned how to play at the tables in front of McInnis. It was practically a requirement to play if you did bonfire. I remember going to the Chicken almost weekly one year.

It was either sophomore or junior year… I can’t remember which because it all blends together. But I remember. I guess it was junior year, as beer is in many of those blurs. But I remember. The clacking of the dominoes hitting each other as someone dropped down the box onto a table. When someone was washing, I was watching for the one with the little nick on the corner? It was a good one. The laughs that ensued as we played. Follow me. Trying to improvise signs with my partner. It was never successful. Slamming down my last piece signaling I wouldn’t be the bitch in a box as we closed down.

Stories were always shared over a game of bones with a side of beer. Deep conversations were had. Philosophical discussions. Obnoxious arguments. Dumb jokes. Slightly drunkenness and a sad attempt to play but not remembering all the rules and bullshitting my way through a round? Yeah. My tenure at A&M was the best four consecutive years of my life. The Chicken certainly deserves some credit for that.

-Victoria Hernandez c/o 2014

1976

40c Beer

Bonfire Fuel

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Bonfire Fuel

1974

Old Ads, Ags.

Progressive Country & Rock

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Dixie Chicken 1974 Ad

Bryan/College Station Visitors Guide - 1974

1989

16 years later

Met while working in 1989…

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1989

Met while working in 1989…

I worked at The Chicken in 1989…. my last semester in Aggieland. Started as the daytime front bar man and worked my way to Manager.

At the time, I noticed a pretty little sophomore working in the kitchen with Janelle and Freddie, named Maria. Smiles turned into flirts, turned into dates and we spent a few months dating.

I graduated, we broke up, and I moved away but I never forgot that pretty girl I dated while working at The Chicken.

16 years later (2005), I get an email, “Remember Me?” and six months later we were married!! We now have 2 kids (Class of ’26 & ’28).

Ben Denison ’88
Maria Theologos Denison ’94

2000

Football, the Chicken, then a ring...

A Dixie Chicken Proposal!

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2000

A Dixie Chicken Proposal!

On the night of the Texas Tech game in 2000, I brought my boyfriend, Paul Hones, to my favorite bar, the Dixie Chicken. Standing near where the two sides come together, he proposed. An Aggie girls dream!

– Cindy Dobbs Hons, Class of 1983.

2006

First Date

Goodnight Irene…

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Dixie Chicken First Date

2006

Goodnight Irene…

It was a regular girls night out. We (my girlfriends and I) always ended up at the Dixie Chicken for some Tijuana fries and Goodnight Irene to end the night. My friends and I loved to hear “Guacamole” by the Texas Tornados, so I went up to the front bartender to ask him to play it. I thought the bartender was really cute. I went back up there and asked him for a pad of paper and a pen. He threw me a guest check book and I wrote down my name and number, gave it back to him, and told him to call me. He did- that night after he got off around 4am! I didn’t meet up with him then because I was already asleep, but we did meet up soon after. The rest is history- that bartender, Mason Moore, is now my husband! We got married on Aug 1, 2009, had our first son on Dec 21, 2014, and are expecting twin girls in March 2017! Thanks Dixie Chicken for setting us up! Here is a picture from the night that we met. 🙂 (At least, that’s when I think we took it!)

Beth Moore

1991

I love going back and seeing how little it’s changed...

Fish Camp 1991: First Chicken Experience

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1991

Fish Camp 1991: First Chicken Experience

My first Chicken experience was on the night we came back from Fish Camp entertaining the Fall 91 semester. Let’s just say our counselors gave us a warm welcome into one of the best Aggie traditions—a cold beer at the Chicken (quite a few). From that night I was hooked. I lived just across the street at Walton so I applied for a job soon after. My “interview” with owner Don Gantner consisted of “Where’d you grow up, boy?” And “What’s your daddy do for a living?” I guess he liked my answers because is soon found myself working in the kitchen. I can say I learned to cook making Freddy burgers and Tijuana fries. It was a fun job. I eventually was promoted to work the back bar (long brass one where pitchers are served) and as a “swamper” (the guys who make their way through the crowds collecting empty bottles and pitchers). They were some late nights—I’ve seen the Chicken with all the overhead lights on and it wasn’t pretty. But it was fun and I left each night with a plastic cup full of cash and quarters from my cut of the tip pitchers. Upsides: half price on food and beer (when not on the clock) and flirting with drunk girls. Downside: missed a few football games and being completely sober at closing. I can tap a keg and pour a perfect beer with minimal foam. I love going back and seeing how little it’s changed though pushing a stroller through it once was pretty surreal. It was a key part of Aggieland education and my favorite bar ever. Attached is a pic of the night I christened my ring (I’m holding the pitcher) and a more recent picture of my initials still carved on the wall in the front entry between the glass door and swinging doors. I etched them into the wall one night with my dorm key while checking ID’s.

Russell Kolb

2017

She didn't believe me when I told her about the tradition...

Carved our names in the wood

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2017

Carved our names in the wood

When my girlfriend and I first started talking, I was telling her all about Northgate and The Chicken and how famous it is. When I told her about the tradition of carving your name in the wood she didn’t believe me. So I invited her to a baseball game back in 2015 (the Regional game against Wake Forrest that ended 22-1 A&M). Well after the game I asked her if she wanted to go anywhere and she told me to choose somewhere. So I decided to take her to The Chicken to show her how awesome the place was. She loved it and was really surprised that people actually carved their names into the wood and how old some of them where. And since that day we go to The Chicken as much as possible always talking about carving our names in the wood and never doing it. Fast forward to our 1 year Anniversary on October 31, 2017 and we are in College Station to celebrate where it all started. We went to The Chicken and I decided to finally carve our names in the wood. It may not have looked really good but it didn’t matter, she loved that we finally carved our names and that it’ll be there every time we come back. And that we will try to sit next to it every time. Thanks for having so many awesome memories at y’all’s establishment and I hope to make many more.

– Josh Williamson