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.

2003

I have so many great memories of The Chicken...

My first paid gig

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2003

My first paid gig

The Dixie Chicken is where I had my first paid gig. It took 6 months of playing there for free and then I got a raise, 4 hours of music for $100. I have so many great memories of The Chicken and it will always have a place in my big maroon heart.

– Rich O’Toole, Texas Country artist

1995

I majored in Dixie Chicken Studies

Shaking bones, drinking beer, and singing those old country tunes…

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1995

Shaking bones, drinking beer, and singing those old country tunes…

To hear my momma tell it, in the Fall of 1994 I majored in Bonfire, but in the Spring of 1995 I majored in Dixie Chicken Studies.

The Bird – my favorite appellation for her – was a natural match for me in those days: dark and foreboding, but full of life and abounding energy. I spent countless evenings (and afternoons . . . who am I kidding!) shaking bones and drinking from glass pitchers, or sitting on the back porch telling lies holding a longneck bottle. I learned more about the best parts of life standing under dusty trophies of Hill Country bucks and rusted signs, listening to Johnny, Waylon, Willie, and Jerry Jeff, than I could have anywhere else in the world. I formed friendships that will last a lifetime, romances that lasted a few short hours, and sentences that couldn’t survive outside my beer-addled mind. I’ve seen Don’s office – the result of running afoul of his strict no fighting rule – the rattler tank from the inside, and the floor of the men’s room up close and personal. So many nights I’ll never remember, a few I’ll never forget, and some so cloaked in the hazy gauze separating reality from legend that I can’t be sure they actually happened. In the story of my life, The Dixie Chicken is not a setting, she’s a living, breathing, ever-present character. Walking in through the swinging doors or up the steps on the back porch today is like seeing a loved one after too long a separation.

I don’t know if it’s true, what my momma says about me and my misspent semester with the Dixie Chicken, but I can tell you this for sure: I don’t remember a single damn thing I learned in the hallowed halls and erudite classrooms across University Drive in the Spring of 1995, but I’ll never forget the lessons I learned shaking bones, drinking beer, and singing those old country tunes with all my buddies at The Bird.

Thanks and Gig ‘Em!

Nathan J. Bouchér

Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 1998

1990

Archive

Ring christening turns into proposal…

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1990

Ring christening turns into proposal…

On September 1, 1990, my family was at the Chicken to christen my cousin’s ring. My boyfriend (now husband) dropped a ring in a pitcher and asked if I was ready to christen my ring. I was a year away from getting my Aggie ring, so I didn’t know what he was talking about. He pulled an engagement ring out of his pocket, dropped it into the pitcher, and asked me to marry him. The place went wild! I was showing someone the ring later that week, and a person nearby congratulated me, saying “Wow! You’re the one! I heard about that! Congratulations!” We have been married 25 years now. The Chicken will always be special to us!

Kasey Koenig-Edmundson

2014

Archive

40th Anniversary Party

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Roger Creager playing to the crowd.

Dub Miller singing "Fightin' Texas Aggie"

2014

40th Anniversary Party

June 14, 2014, the Dixie Chicken celebrated its 40th birthday with live music from Aggies and local talent.

Pat Ryan, Austin English, Dallas Shipp, Geoff Spahr, Rosehill, Clayton Gardner, Dub Miller, and Roger Creager all shared their talents to a large crowd packed throughout the promenade.

1998 and 2015

18 years apart

Random table turns into trip down memory lane

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1998 and 2015

Random table turns into trip down memory lane

Our family sat down for lunch on November 8, 2015. My husband looked up on the wall beside our (randomly picked) table and found our names – signed November 8, 1997. We were in the exact same spot on the same day 18 years apart.

– Dana Chancellor

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

1995

we shared a couple pitchers talked for hours...

From co-workers to marriage

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1995

From co-workers to marriage

Well I’ve finally gotten around to sending you some pictures and telling our story….the summer of 95 I was working at the chicken…first in the kitchen flipping burgers, then the bar pouring drafts and finally a manager. Although just about every night was memorable at work at the Chicken, one was more so…the night I met a girl who worked upstairs counting money with Peggy. Looking back over 20 years we still have slight variations of the “true” story but the one common element we both recall is that life changed for both of us that night. After work we shared a couple pitchers talked for hours and 6 months later, we were engaged to be married. We took our engagement pictures on the front porch and had our reception party at shadow canyon. The Dixie Chicken has always been such a huge part of our lives that when we finally built a house 20 years later, we built a room that resembled the place we met, with wood walls, animal trophies hanging, pictures of good friends, license plates, neon signs, beer mirrors and even an authentic domino table we bought at an auction. Some of the best moments of our lives with some of the best friends we’ll ever have were right there in the famous Dixie Chicken.

Erick, c/o ’95, & Erin, c/o ’97, Westerholm

2009

College Choices

Straight to the Dixie Chicken…

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2009

Straight to the Dixie Chicken…

Every summer my dad and I would take a trip to Galveston together and after my sophomore year of high school we were heading back home to Dallas and my dad said “why don’t we go check out college station?” knowing that I wanted to attend A&M. So we jumped off 45 and headed to Aggieland. But instead of going straight to campus or on a campus tour we went straight to the Dixie Chicken. Had a burger and dad had a beer (of course) and we hung around talking with the bartenders on staff. When we finally walked out of the chicken, probably 3 hours later, we both were blown away at how friendly everyone was and how when asked about Aggieland and Texas A&M their faces would light up, you could just see how much they loved this place and how different the environment was. I knew right then and there I wanted to be a Fightin’ Texas Aggie. I didn’t need a campus tour, I just needed a visit to the Dixie Chicken! ????�

Today it is still my favorite place to go on a Friday night. My husband and I have played many games of dominoes in there and it will forever hold a place in my heart.

(Also worked at Chicken Oil for about a year in 2010-2011)

Brittany Coker ‘14

1989

Love Story

Trying not to spill a pitcher of beer…

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Dixie Chicken

Welcome to Miller Time

1989

Trying not to spill a pitcher of beer…

Friday, February 3, 1989, my husband, Dennis looked up from playing a game of pool to see me (a 5’2 blonde, blue eyed girl) walking through the crowd carrying and trying not to spill a pitcher of beer. My girlfriend and I had gone out to dinner and then headed over to the Chicken that evening. She knew one of the guys playing pool with Dennis, and we hung out with them and drank way too much! We were married almost 15 months later (April 28, 1990) and are inseparable! We have the pleasure of coming back to visit the Chicken through the years (especially when our son was going to school class of ’14) and enjoy how welcoming young Ags are when we older Ags come in!

Gig ’em and God Bless,

Dennis ’88, ’92 and Peggy Hill

 

1994

I started drinking at the Dixie Chicken...

15th Reunion

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1994

15th Reunion

I started drinking at the Dixie Chicken in June 1979 during Freshman Orientation. I’m Class of 1983 and have attached a photo of my friends, Donald Drastata,Sheryl Barrett, and myself at our 15th Reunion in the fall of 1994. My husband, Paul Hons, and I became engaged here and return every year as we visit family and check on our retirement land. Our engagement story is already on your stories page. Gig’em!

– Cindy Dobbs Hons ’83

2002

on a whim, my friend and I decided to walk down to the Chicken...

Grabbing a beer turned into a lifetime love!

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2002

Grabbing a beer turned into a lifetime love!

My husband (class of 2001) and I met at the Dixie Chicken on July 14th, 2002. After being at Shadow Canyon most of the night, on a whim, my friend and I decided to walk down to the Chicken. There was a Gary P. Nunn concert on the back porch that hot sultry night. We came in to grab a beer and sit inside for a while. As we sat there chatting about considering a move to Houston to further my career, my future husband approached and asked if we’d like to join he and his friends. As we all sat together, we hit it off instantly. We sat there and talked like we had known each other for many years. After a game of pool he asked for my phone number. After 7 months of dating, we married on February 22, 2003 at the All Faith’s Chapel on the campus of A&M. We have been married 17 wonderful years and have 4 awesome kids (future Aggies) together. When we want to relive our younger years, we take a trip back to College Station and to The Chicken. This is where our love story began. The Dixie Chicken will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Amber Wittnebert

1988

Still the best hire I've ever made...

Help Wanted: Apply Upstairs

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1988

Help Wanted: Apply Upstairs

In January of 1988 I was working as a Manager for the Dixie Chicken. During the week before classes started, a young woman brought her mother in to show her “The Chicken”. As they walked in the front door, her Mom noticed the “Help Wanted, Apply Upstairs” sign and told her daughter, “You need to get a job, go upstairs and apply”. So she did.

Just as she finished turning in the application, I walked upstairs. Peggy, the secretary said, “Larry, this is Beth Partheymuller, she is looking for a job”.

I asked, “Can you work Tuesday & Thursday lunch rushes?”

“Yes.”

“You’re hired, I’ll see you at 11:00 on Tuesday.”

We started dating a couple of months later, then got married in November of 1988.

It has now been 30 years and that was still the best hire I’ve ever made.

We took the family to the Chicken in January of 2018 for a “pilgrimage” to where it all started for us.

Larry Odom ’88 (actual grad ’91)

Beth Odom ’91 (actual grad ’92)