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.

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.

1993

Well, there I was, trying...

Where do we go from here?

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1993

Where do we go from here?

Well, there I was, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life at the career center above the parking garage. It wasn’t called the Koldus Center yet, in 1993. So I was in the office with other Ags helping me determine my future and we realized that #1-We were all graduating next year together, #2-We were all Virgos, and #3-We all needed a drink. Already dressed in maroon (is there another color?), we agreed on a time and after work and school that Thursday evening met up at the Chicken and a few pitchers later were agitatin’ the rattlesnakes behind the thick plexiglass. Ronda Harris beat me at pool and Shelly Redelsperger, a track star at A&M dragged us to a Tracy Byrd concert at the Hall of Fame. Ahhh, I miss those foggy endless nights at College Station and the Dixie Chicken.

– Charles Reed

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

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

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…

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

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.

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…

2002

I met Don & his wife back about 2002ish...

From Aggieland to Jackson Hole

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2002

From Aggieland to Jackson Hole

I met Don & his wife back about 2002ish while sculpting in a Gallery in Jackson Hole, WY. He was at the back of a crowd watching me and I hear someone holler, “what year did you graduate?”! He saw my ring and after everyone cleared out he said, “ever heard of The Chicken? I own it!” I told him it was a post exam tradition and a great place to unwind! My son just turned 21 and his first beer purchase was at The Chicken! Don created a great place and a wonderful Aggie Tradition!

2019

Kid on a mission...

First Aggie Baseball game

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2019

First Aggie Baseball game

My husband (’04) and I (’05) loved Aggieland so much, we moved back to College Station in 2015 to raise our family. Now that they’re old enough, we are trying to take the kids to all the Aggieland classics. So, of course we started with lunch at the Dixie Chicken before catching their first Aggie Baseball game! My youngest was so excited to see the famous rattlesnake and was on a mission to see it as soon as we walked in.

– Katie Brading ’05

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

 

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!