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.

1974

An enjoyable down-home bar

Don Anz and Don Ganter who met one day…

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1974

Don Anz and Don Ganter who met one day…

“The Dixie Chicken is a creation of two local residents, Don Anz and Don Ganter, who met one day several months ago and decided to do something. That something is a unique blend of new ideas and old objects combined to create an enjoyable down-home bar, a place to meet friends over a cold beer or soft drink and a snack.

The ice cold beer doesn’t come out of a refrigerator. It’s literally iced down — each and every long neck bottle. Soft drinks come good and cold, too, and wine will soon be added to the menu.”

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

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

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

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

1984

Archive

Used to tie up our horses behind the Chicken…

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horse

1984

Used to tie up our horses behind the Chicken…

Used to tie up our horses in the back when we road over from the Cav barn during weekend excursions. That was when the Cav Jocks supplied our own (personal) horses. Behind the Chicken was just an alley and we’d ride over , tie up and play dominos and dispense pitchers while chewing tobacco or dipping snuff.

Danny Hill, ‘85

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.

1993

From throwing bones to being at a wedding

Surprise Wedding…

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1993

Surprise Wedding…

A group of friends, class of ’90, met in town at the Chicken over the Christmas break. It was a Saturday afternoon and we were playing dominos. In walked a priest followed by the groom. The wedding march played over the speakers and in walked the bride. They served champagne to all in the bar and held a dance after. Of course the war hymn played following the kiss!

John Bush ’90

 

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

2012

A few beers later

Late to class…

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Marissa Tamble Class of 2013

Marissa Tamble, Fightin' Texas Aggie class of 2013

2012

Late to class…

The first story that comes to my mind as one of my favorites is the first day of my senior year at TAMU. I had a class before that ended around 1PM. My next class wasn’t until 4PM, so like any 21 year old college student on their first day of class, you might as well go to Northgate for a beer or two and let the time pass. My friend and I chose the Chicken to have some burgers and Shiner Bock. We got there, reminisced our time in College Station and how we were amazed the time has already flown by. After a few beers, it was time to head to our 4PM class. We ended up getting to class late, which sucked because we had to sit in the front row. As class went by, we realized this was going to be the most difficult class that semester and there wasn’t going to be much time to drink between classes like we had that day. At the end of the class, our professor made the day a little bit better. Thanks to having a few beers at the Chicken, being late to class, and having to sit in the front row, we ended up getting 100 bonus points for sitting in the front row. I ended up getting an A in that class that semester and I’d like to thank the Chicken for being part of that reason.

The Dixie Chicken will always have a place in my heart and is always going to be one of my favorite places to go to whenever I’m in College Station. Thanks for the “nights I can’t remember with the friends I’ll never forget”.

Gig ‘Em

Marissa Tamble, Fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2013

2019

1st official beer at the Chicken

Born and Raised

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2019

Born and Raised

Got a little story for you Ags…This kid was born and raised an Aggie!! This is my nephew Anthony Schimmenti, class of 2020! WHOOP! With the help of his Dad, Mark “Scoop” Schimmenti, Class of ’83, he has always bled maroon! Only fitting to have his 1st official beer at the Chicken for his 21st birthday! Here’s to many more family gatherings at the Dixie Chicken!

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.