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.

1979

Spinning records and cheap beer!

A few memories from the early days

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1979

A few memories from the early days

Before Don installed electronic cash registers and before I had a single strand of grey hair on my head…my guess 1979 or 80… We were still spinning LP’s; had crackers in the barrel; a guy named Woodie who you most definitely did not want to play pool against; 75 cent Pearl, Shiner and Lone Star, 80 cents for a Miller Lite and 35 cents for Texas Pride….; oh and our imports were Little Kings from Cincinnati and Lowenbrau from Germany (actually Dallas)…. Donnie’s wife snapped this pic…

– Mark Rogers

2015

Celebrated with Tijuana fries

Married at the Chicken…

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Wedding at the Dixie Chicken

2015

Married at the Chicken…

Of the numerous Chicken stories that we have, our favorite, by far was the day we eloped at the Chicken.
On December 12th, 2015 my fiancé Shell and I had planned to elope under the Century Tree with a few of our closest friends. Mother Nature had other plans. It rained over 7 inches that day.
Since our plan was to head to the Chicken for the reception anyway, we decided to call the manager and ask if we could do the ceremony there also. Because there was only 6 of us they said that wasn’t a problem. The staff cheered as we walked in. We ordered a couple of pitchers and proceeded to the back of the room where we were blissfully wed. After that we celebrated with burgers, Tijuana fries, and pitchers of Shiner. It was the best day in our absolute favorite bar. Whoop! Thanks and gig ’em!

1986

I noticed him immediately...

I was new to the Dixie Chicken scene

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1986

I was new to the Dixie Chicken scene

I walked in with friends in January 1986. He already knew my friends, and I was new to the Dixie Chicken scene 🙂 He was playing 42 at a table with his friends. I noticed him immediately, especially his long hair in the back LOL~ There was some chemistry and I asked him to a sorority dance. He turned me down because I had just broken up with a boyfriend and needed a date! He then asked me to a basketball game in Austin, and I turned him down because I legitimately had a fever. To this day he doesn’t believe I was sick.

Three months later, we ran into to each other in summer school, and we have been together ever since. We married February of 1989, and we have three Aggie children: two graduates and a current sophomore. We recently went back there to hang out (well we do that a lot because now we own a house 10 minutes from the Dixie Chicken) the day before our 30th wedding anniversary, and he stood up and asked a stranger to record us. He popped the question again for another 30 years!

P.S. We recently sat at the Chicken and re-learned how to play 42 on our phones before we pulled out the dominos to actually play again.

Mary Ewing Miller ’87
Kyle Miller ’85

1983

I was in the market for a part-time job...

From Crocker Hall to the Chicken

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1983

From Crocker Hall to the Chicken

Greetings from Syracuse, New York.

In 1983 I was a sophomore at A&M, living just across the street in Crocker Hall (now gone). I was in the market for a part-time job and someone suggested the “Chicken”…my first thought was… “yeah..I like fried chicken!” Went over and was surprised that it wasn’t a fried chicken joint but a beer saloon. Asked the front bartender where to go to apply…he sent me to the back and up the stairs…as I recall it was Peggy’s first week on the job, she handed me an application….then a deep voice inside the connecting office asked… “Who’s out there? …..come on in Bud.” I went in and sat down, first a bit intimidated by the guns on the wall and the pistol on the desk, “I’m Don he said, lookin for work?”….. and we proceeded to have a nice 20 minute conversation…..having nothing to do with my qualifications to work. We instead talked about where I was from, my family, my hobbies…like you were talking with a long-lost uncle..catching up on things. At the end “Don said… “OK Bud, we’ll give a roll in the hay, Peggy sign him up!” That was my first introduction to Don and the Dixie Chicken.

Started out on Bud Crew….as most do. The first job I had was cleaning out Pookies, the building across Bottle Cap Alley. It had been a shot bar in the late 70’s, full of old furniture, cases of old liquor, mixes and such. We filled Don’s truck 3 times with stuff to haul off to the dump. Don was turning it into an ice cream parlor as I remember.

Ended up working at the Chicken Oil Company, then back to the Chicken, swamping, then the back bar, then the front bar and eventually weekend manager. Worked from 1983 thru 1986. Have wonderful memories, I helped with changing out the snakes, we rotated the rattlesnakes between cages upstairs and the wall cage. Every once in a while a city highway worker would show up with a bigger rattler and we’d have to shuffle snakes. The Chicken only served beer at that time, bottles up front and glass pitchers at the back. Can’t tell you how many Sundays I spent polishing the brass at the back bar. I remember the ruckus Don started when he suggested raising the price of a longneck from 75 cents to $1. We were making a quarter tip on just about every bottle sold. We convinced Don to raise the price to 90 cents so we could still make a dime on each. Remember the cast of character’s who frequented the bar on weekends.

Enclosing a couple of pictures from the good ole days.

The first is of the front of the Chicken around 1983.

The second is of the Chicken staff at the 1983 (1984?) 4th of July party Don held out at some land he owned next to the Brazos River. I’m the blond guy holding up the Miller High Life in the middle of the picture. JB Fletcher, in the green hat, was the manager. The girl in the front row with the white hat is Don’s niece (don’t remember her name). Next to her is one of Don’s daughters, Don is holding the other. I only remember Katie’s name. I can remember all of the faces and voices of everyone in the picture but not names….time has erased them from my memory.

Hope this brings some joy and memories. Was very sad to hear the news of his passing a number of years back. He was one of a kind.

– Ross Shepherd

2009

Wedding pictures

Dixie Chicken Family

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2009

Dixie Chicken Family

My husband (’08) and I (’09) are proud members of the Dixie Chicken family! So many memories and lifelong friendships were made.

– Lauren Diehl

1976

Then, there he was...

Met my husband over 40 years ago!

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1976

Met my husband over 40 years ago!

It was JULY 5, 1976, when I met my husband at the DIXIE CHICKEN:

After losing my first husband in a car crash, I was at the Dixie Chicken wearing a pink tank top that read “I’m Single” and blue jean shorts. I had one beer: Schlitz in a bottle. (I don’t, and didn’t drink much.)

Then… there he was wearing a V-neck white t-shirt, Wrangler blue jeans, boots, and had blonde hair: “Are you alone, or are you waiting for someone?”

I hesitated only a second, “I’m alone.”

He invited me to his table, where he was playing pool.

We’re now married, our three children are grown, and we have seven grandchildren. It all started at a random meeting – at the Dixie Chicken.

Thank you, folks – for the love of my life.

– Sheri Bockelman

2006

We always started and ended...

Ladies Nights

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2006

Ladies Nights

It was always ladies night for us at The Chicken! We always started and ended our Northgate nights at The Chicken! The best part was heading back to the bar for one pitcher of beer, some Tijuana fries, and Goodnight Irene! I believe our bathroom tag is still in the big stall somewhere- Hussies Class of 2006! We look forward to trips back to remember our great times! Thanks for all the memories!

❤️ The Hussies

2015

She said yes

Put the ring in a box of bones…

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proposal at dixie chicken

He put a ring on it

2015

Put the ring in a box of bones…

Last April I decided it was time to propose to my beautiful fiancé (girlfriend at the time). I’m from a tiny town just North of Lubbock and she’s from a town outside of San Antonio. When I started school at A&M I met her through a student group that puts a high value on hanging out at the bird, so when the time came to ask her to be my wife, I knew exactly where I wanted to do it. I didn’t want to ask under the century tree, cause even though it is beautiful and has a fantastic story, it just was not us. I went to the front bar and asked the bartender to put the ring in a box of bones and to give me that specific box when I came to get dominoes. All of our friends were there already as she walked in. We sat down and ordered a beer ( I ordered a few more than one) and finally I asked if anyone wanted to play some 42. I went and picked up the box and came back to the table and asked her to be mine forever and she said yes!! I attached a picture of the moment, and the best part of the picture is actually my buddy joes face haha

Christopher Coulombe

1998

we fell for each other...

First date to forever

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1998

First date to forever

My favorite (out of many): In the summer of 1998, I met a woman in Austin, who lived in Houston, who agreed to come up to College Station to meet me for an official first date. We went to the movies (Armageddon), to Shadow Canyon (Shiner Park today), and then to our last stop at my favorite bar, The Chicken.

We sat down, grabbed a pitcher of Shiner, and started getting to know each other. I carved my fraternity/her sorority letters into the table. While chatting, listening to the playlist that probably hadn’t changed since 1985, and constantly introducing her to people I knew, we fell for each other. Maybe it was the music, the hardwood floor, or the unique ambience, but we’ve now had 24 years together, a wedding, and 3 kids. None of that would’ve happened without that date at The Dixie Chicken.

I still remember it every time I hear Rose Colored Glasses on the radio.

– Ryan Taylor

2013

More beer please

Yes because, beer…

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This is what I'm talking about.

2013

Yes because, beer…

One time, beer. And then this other time, beer. The best part was when, beer. But then after that, beer. And then again, beer. But the crazy part, beer. In conclusion, beer. Nevertheless, beer. Will we be back? Yes because, beer.

Kasey Irvin

1976

Recent Discovery

Painting Uncovered

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Found this behind the Dixie Chicken keg cooler

1976

Painting Uncovered

Upgraded the keg cooler and in the process of switching them out, we found this gem. On the wall behind where the cooler was there’s a painting on the wall from the bar that was there before it was the Chicken. Back in the days of 65 cent Lone Stars…

1988

aka Don's Boys

The Bud Crew…

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1988

The Bud Crew…

Back in the late 80’s I worked on the bud crew. I am not sure who reads this email but in case you do not know what the bud crew was, we were basically Don’s boys. We did whatever needed to be handled. Some days it might have been mowing his yard, the next mopping the Chicken, and the next catching his cows. I spent one summer working on Alfred T. Hornback’s. I forget what is was before that but an old carpenter named Ben and I did most of the work to make it a pool hall. I was also one of the guys that replaced the floor at the front bar. I probably have more stories than I have time to write but here are a couple of quick ones.

The little door that kind of hides the ice machine at the front bar was built by me. In true Don fashion I was given a hand saw, a few pieces of wood, a hammer, and a few nails. That was it. I built the door and hung it in such a fashion that when open it would hang the floor to keep it open. It all worked out great. Don looked at it and liked it but felt something was wrong. After thinking he realized that it looked too clean. He had me take it down, take it outside, and rub it down with mud. With a little effort it pretty much matched the rest of the Chicken so I put it back in place. I have not been there in the last few years but the last time I was there the door was still in place.

-John