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.

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!

1997

9 April 1997: the 10th anniversary of the day I got my ring.

A little white lie and a ring dunk

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1997

A little white lie and a ring dunk

As I did not get the opportunity to celebrate the day, I made the executive decision to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the day. An honest school teacher, I lied to my then department chair (he went to that other school in Austin and I knew he would not understand) that my sister (’94) was sick and I would be missing two days of school during the last week of the six weeks because I needed to go see her, I drove 8 hours through rain and hail to meet her, I dunked my ring in style, I drove 8 hours home the next day, and taught my classes the following day with a smile. To this day, when my head hits the pillow, I do not have any trouble falling asleep! WHOOP!

My sister Betsy ‘94 (left) and me celebrating the above mentioned 10th anniversary of my ring day.

-SG Cranford ’88

1992

A chance meeting leads to forever

An Aggie Victory Celebration

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1992

An Aggie Victory Celebration

October 3, 1992. A&M QB Jeff Granger escapes a sure sack and hits TE Greg Schorp for a first down to keep the Aggies’ final drive alive. Terry Venetoulias kicks the game-winning FG on the final play for a 19-17 win over Texas Tech. The late Homer Jacobs convinces Rusty Burson to stay in town instead of going back to Galveston and going out that night. Audra Watts Holifield and William Holifield convince Vannessa Blasingame Burson to stay in town instead of going back to Clear Lake. later that night, Rusty sees Vannessa walk in the back door of the Dixie Chicken. He grabs her by the arm and spins her around. The rest is history. They were married in 1993, and they now have two children at A&M and a third on the way.
-Rusty Burson

1991

Enjoying another fun night of bones...

Patrick’s “God” hand

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1991

Patrick’s “God” hand

Enjoying another fun night of bones in the Spring of ’91 with Mark Gaither ’90 (right) and Patrick LaCicero ’92 (left). Finally, Pat has the “God” hand and plans his execution, only interrupted by female domino groupies drawn in by the gravity of the situation. Pat was their mascot. What is the “God” hand in 42, you ask? Bidding 41 and making it EXACTLY by walking the 1-blank on the last play. Patrick didn’t complete the feat that night but he entertained us with every hand played. Even the stuffed white-tailed buck just above us was impressed.

Tragically, we lost Pat last year. He was an amazing father, husband, and friend. You are greatly missed my brother. The world just isn’t the same.

-Bruce Cherniak ’87

2019

The Chicken will be a place we will return to for years to come...

Came back for Dixie Chicken turning 45!

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2019

Came back for Dixie Chicken turning 45!

Since graduation I’ve been itching for an excuse to come back and visit Aggieland. When I discovered that The Dixie Chicken was hosting a birthday celebration I couldn’t think of a better reason to make the trip. My favorite part of the evening was getting a glimpse back into what it felt to be a student at Texas A&M. It felt so natural to be back with everyone enjoying a pitcher and listening to Dub Miller play “The Fighting Texas Aggie Song”.
Some of my most classic memories are those spent during SCONA week. (Student Conference On National Affairs) Every year after long days of discussing the world’s most pressing issues we would always reconvene at the Chicken. It was so fun to share with external delegates from schools such as West Point Academy or the VMI about the Chicken and various Aggie traditions.
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with my friends and family.
So this picture includes my Ring, Robert Crum ‘19 Ag Systems Management and fellow fraternity brother from Alpha Sigma Phi Stuart Dietzmann ‘19 Psychology. And serval buddies of Robbie’s from the E-2 class of 2019. Including Dylan Sutton BIMS, Stephen McLaughlin Comm, and Ruben Fernandes Computer Science. I have spent many a Thursday evening sharing a pitcher with these guys. The Chicken will be a place we will return to for years to come.
Kristi Kelley ‘19 International Studies Major

1977

World's First

Death Burger Championship

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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

1983

We’ve been married 35 years this year

In 1983 I met my future wife at the Dixie Chicken…

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1983

In 1983 I met my future wife at the Dixie Chicken…

One perfect summer afternoon in 1983 I met my future wife at the Dixie Chicken. She was sitting a few tables over playing 42, wearing a low cut summer dress with her perfect legs and big blue eyes. I decided I just had to meet her.

I talked my Corps buddy James to go with me to meet her. On the way over James stumbled and knocked the stove and stove pipe over into me. Resulting in me dumping a half-pitcher of Lone Star onto her barefoot. Classic smooth moves for two Ag major cadets.

Fast forward to Fall 1983. We were steady dating, she was a good catch because she could talk JD into a free pitcher with her big blue eyes. One night, she was sitting on my lap while I played 42 with my Corps Zip buddies Dondo, Terry, and Old Man ( Jay). I carved our initials into the tabletop inside a heart.

My nickname was Gramps. I got caught as a freshman one bitter cold morning in Fall 1980 wearing thermal underwear under my uniform at formation. Just like an old Grandpa.

My steady girl and I got married a few years later and raised a family. A couple years ago she went to The Chicken and found “ our table”. And it stunk, like three decades of spilled beer. And bought it. $$$$$. One of the best presents I was ever surprised with. We’ve been married 35 years this year.

The top is worn smooth. I calculated a minimum of 20 domino games a day, for at least 320 days a year, for over 35 years. That table was worn slick with over 200,000 domino games. The tables were old in 1983.

I cut the legs off and hung it on my wall. Our initials are in the lower left corner. My nickname is on the lower right side. Amazing they didn’t get worn off.

Love you sweetheart!

– Louis Peter

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

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

1988

It was the fall of 1988, the first week of class...

I have a little story for you Aggies! A LOVE story!

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1988

I have a little story for you Aggies! A LOVE story!

I have a little story for you Aggies! A LOVE story! Whoop! . My new roommates and I decided to do a little bonding over a few games of 42. So, like all good Ags, we headed to the Dixie Chicken. We played a few games of 42, and after a little while two of my roommates got up to leave. At that same time two guys from the table next to us got up to leave. We looked at the two remaining players, they looked at us, and I don’t remember who suggested it, but we combined players and continued to play. At the end of the night, the handsome green-hazel eyed CT asked me for my number. And so it began! Whoop!

Below is my husband and I with our three children at Student Bonfire, 2015. My daughter was a Green Pot 2016, and she is a senior this year, Victoria Smith ’18. My son in the middle is a freshman this year, Andrew Smith ’21. And with the grace of God, the youngest, far right will be an Aggie class of 2024, Mario Smith, III.
Sophie Smith ’90
Mario Smith ’89