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.

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

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)

2012

A few beers later

Late to class…

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Marissa Tamble Class of 2013

Marissa Tamble, Fightin' Texas Aggie class of 2013

2012

Late to class…

The first story that comes to my mind as one of my favorites is the first day of my senior year at TAMU. I had a class before that ended around 1PM. My next class wasn’t until 4PM, so like any 21 year old college student on their first day of class, you might as well go to Northgate for a beer or two and let the time pass. My friend and I chose the Chicken to have some burgers and Shiner Bock. We got there, reminisced our time in College Station and how we were amazed the time has already flown by. After a few beers, it was time to head to our 4PM class. We ended up getting to class late, which sucked because we had to sit in the front row. As class went by, we realized this was going to be the most difficult class that semester and there wasn’t going to be much time to drink between classes like we had that day. At the end of the class, our professor made the day a little bit better. Thanks to having a few beers at the Chicken, being late to class, and having to sit in the front row, we ended up getting 100 bonus points for sitting in the front row. I ended up getting an A in that class that semester and I’d like to thank the Chicken for being part of that reason.

The Dixie Chicken will always have a place in my heart and is always going to be one of my favorite places to go to whenever I’m in College Station. Thanks for the “nights I can’t remember with the friends I’ll never forget”.

Gig ‘Em

Marissa Tamble, Fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2013

2016

Archive

My Daughter’s Favorite Burger!

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2016

My Daughter’s Favorite Burger!

My family has always been Ags. My stepmom and brother both graduated there. As the only non-grad, I had to find a way to get there. As a firefighter, I was able to attend the annual TAMU fire school. When I became a Dad, I knew the college I wanted my daughter to attend. When she was in elementary and middle school, we made nearly every game we could. Each time we came to The Chicken.

At first, my daughter saw it only as “a bar where Dad drank beer.” But after her first bite of a Freddy burger, I knew she was hooked. Why you ask? Because I couldn’t get a darn bite! I bought it only as a hunch she might like it! Now. If we’re in town for a game, she will know the time the game ends and the time The Chicken gets crowded and let me know it’s time to go.

I’ve told her the history of the place and explained the names etched in the walls and th tables. After about her fourth trip there she snuck in a Sharpie and while waiting on our food, left our mark at the Chicken. It’s now or defacto place to go on trips there. She limits her dear old dad to two beers but states she’s not limited in her food choices or her places to sit.

As a single Dad, it gives me such an honor to pass on to my little girl, the sense of feeling that the Dixie Chicken is. For all of us that have inhabited it since it’s glory days and the gravel parking lot; we know it’s more than just a bar or burger joint. It’s a way of life, it’s a family dinner on Sunday, it’s the pace you see your friends, it’s the place you’ve shared losses and gains. More greater than that, it’s a place we call home. And the Beasley’s, Kristen and Troy, call it home too. Thank you for all the memories!

– Troy Beasley

1974

Old Milwaukee longneck beers @ 40 cents a pop

Was there for the grand opening!

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1974

Was there for the grand opening!

Over the years, as a UT medical educator, I like to tell my Aggie students that I attended the grand opening of the Chicken in 1974. That year I stayed in College Station after spring semester ended, to attend the summer session and the Willie Nelson Picnic in College Station. You could have a good time on Saturday nights before 1 a.m. closing, with $3 in your pocket, drinking Old Milwaukee longneck beers @ 40 cents a pop, free crackers, and shooting pool!! It was our favorite hangout with my new (at the time) girlfriend I met that summer, now wife of 40+ years!

John & Patricia Fraser
Pictures of us at her apt. at Boyett Apts. on First Street down from the Chicken, sporting my Old Milwaukee cap; our first portrait at a photography studio close to the Chicken at Northgate.

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

1982

last beer as a free man...

Pre-wedding cold beer!

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1982

Pre-wedding cold beer!

Had my last beer as a free man at the Dixie Chicken. Walked in the front door in Midnights and Boots with my groomsmen, had a longneck, and walked out the back door and down to Church St. to my wedding. Mom chewed my ass on the church steps for being late, but all my buds knew they wouldn’t start without us and that beer was important!

– James Starr ’83

PICTURED: 12/4/82 Martha L Mahoney -81 and L James Starr III -83 still married almost 35 years later. Sired three Aggies: Luther J Starr IV ’09, Stevie Starr Hedrick ’11; and JoAnna F Starr ’12

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

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

2013

Sweet Home Alabama!?

2013 Alabama home game…

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alabama vs Texas A&M at Dixie Chicken

Pictured is my wife Diane and great friend Cary Bauer, Class of ’74.

2013

2013 Alabama home game…

The Alabama home game in 2013, a rematch against Johnny Football. This was Bama’s first visit to Kyle Field in an SEC tilt. I was unable to find tickets to the game that did not involve mortgaging my home. So we came to town anyway from Houston, arrived early at the Chicken and watched the game from the friendly confines of the Chicken. As you can imagine, the Chicken was packed that day with about 50/50 Tide versus good guys… About an hour before game time, the sound system all the sudden broke into Sweet Home Alabama to the surprised glee of the Bama contingent. They were cheering wildly, singing and high fiving… about 10 seconds into the song, the music abruptly stopped… after about a 5 second silent pause, Noble Men of Kyle came blasting through the sound system at full volume. Amazing moment. Actually best moment ever in the Chicken for me. The bewildered Bama fans all had that ‘what just happened?’ look on their faces.

Classic…

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