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.

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

1976

I bought my first legal beer there in '76...

From patron to employee

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1976

From patron to employee

I bought my first legal beer there in ’76, when you just had to be 18. Worked for Don & Donnie summer/fall of ’79, when all the beer was iced down longnecks. 50¢ for most beer, Lone Star was 35¢. Wine coolers 60¢.

To his daughters: He used to have an office upstairs with a cute picture of you two with makeup all over your faces. He would use that to warn us about stealing and said: “When you steal from me, you steal from them”.

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

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.

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

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

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

2014

The Dixie Chicken has been there as a shining beacon for this young Aggie...

A home away from home

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2014

A home away from home

My first (legal) beer. Exciting parties. A breakup. Drowning my sorrows. No matter the occasion, the Dixie Chicken has been there as a shining beacon for this young Aggie. The first time I was able to set foot on the glorious back porch of The Chicken was in 2008 When I was first visiting campus. We had a tour at 1 o’clock and we decided to grab lunch first. The hospitality and friendliness of the bar was my first real taste of what being an Aggie was all about. The first time I spent extensive time with my friends in the Texas A&M singing cadets was at a Thursday night dinner at The Chicken where I first learned about the game 42. After that, many of my college nights are spent spending time with my friend James, Adam, Ryan, and many others enjoying fine beer, great company, red dirt country, and playing 42 until the pitchers ran dry. The Thursday after I turned 21, I remember my cousin Zane inviting me out for a beer. This of course turned into shots over at the Dry Bean and to many more fun times at The Chicken. I’ve watched many away games there, was broken up with there on a Sunday afternoon, and contemplated life decisions while sipping on a Shiner. No matter the occasion, I’ll always find my way back to the place I’ve come to call a home away from home, other than Olsen Field of course.

Robert White, ’14

2011

The pretty lady in the wedding dress is Pamela...

After Reception Get Together

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2011

After Reception Get Together

Howdy! I am Bryan Reding, I-7, ’07, and the pretty lady in the wedding dress is Pamela (Porter) Reding ’04. We are surrounded by 1st row L to R: Jeff Fuller (lifelong friend from Kansas), Clint Cottrell, I-7, ’07, Katy Hall Gaston ’07, Taylor Hall, I-1, ’07, Jack Hart (lifelong friend from Kansas). Back row L to R: Dan Habitzreiter, I-1, ’07, and Alex Holladay, I-1, ’07. Pam and I met in 2007 (whoop) and got a courthouse marriage in 2010. I deployed to Iraq from March 2010-March 2011 and we had a large wedding celebration when I returned. Our wedding ceremony was held at All Faith’s Chapel on campus, followed by the reception in the Archery Room of the Rec Center. After the reception, we went “to The Chicken” to have a few drinks. The Dixie Chicken was the go-to bar for our Corps buddies to make or forget memories long into the night during our years in The Corps and at Texas A&M. I can’t count how many times I heard Goodnight Irene. It was only fitting that after a great day, we ended the night at the best bar on Northgate.

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

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)

2016

So many memories...

From first beer to saying goodbye

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2016

From first beer to saying goodbye

I have had tons of memories at The Chicken, from my first beer to writing my final paper as a student. The one that tops all of them was my impromptu graduation party. I invited about 10 of my closest friends to gather at The Chicken for a night to drink, have fun, and say “goodbye” to being a student. I had the pleasure of having a very eclectic friend group during my time at Texas A&M, because of this, most of the people didn’t even know each other! That night we laughed, drank, and reminisced about my time at Texas A&M, the memories we made together, and what the future may hold. I realized how lucky I was to have friends like mine and a very special place like the Chicken to celebrate at. The next morning, I had to be in Houston by 9 am to work a Texans game. I was completely exhausted but it was well worth it. To be able to say good bye to the friends and university I loved at my favorite place was absolutely unforgettable. Between my mother, my friend who’s a photographer, and myself, we wound up with 0 pictures of the night. In a way, this makes me smile because no one was on their phones. For a few hours, we merry band of misfits lived in the moment, a moment that will never be forgotten.
Thanks and Gig’em,
Jordyn Smith ’16