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.

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

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

2013

Marissa Tamble, Class of 2013

Thanks for the nights I can’t remember with the friends I’ll never forget.

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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.

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

 

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.

1977

World's First

Death Burger Championship

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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

2013

Put a ring on it

Northgate introduced us, but the Dixie Chicken sealed the deal…

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Put a ring on it

2013

Northgate introduced us, but the Dixie Chicken sealed the deal…

JT (from Jack Hilliard) was my bartender at Rebel when I first met him. A few weeks later he asked me to be his girlfriend sitting at this table on the back porch of the Dixie Chicken on April 17, 2013. This picture was taken at that table on our one year anniversary. We still sit there when we enjoy lunch on a work day or drinks after work. Northgate introduced us, but the Dixie Chicken sealed the deal.

Almost 4 years later,
He needs to put a ring on it,
Jessica

 

UPDATE: On September 10, 2017 JT proposed at the same back porch he asked me to be his girlfriend 4 years ago.

Soon to be Mrs. JT,

Jessica

 

UPDATE 2: June 2, 2018, JT and Jessica were married in front of family and friends. Congrats to the happy couple!

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…

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