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.

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

My grandfather is my best friend...

From the Navy to TAMU

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2016

From the Navy to TAMU

Got a story for yah, Ags!…

It was the scenic route that took me to the only place I would want to transition from the military to civilian life at. My grandfather is my best friend and FTA class of 1945. I have been attached to him at the hip since I can remember. Whether it was at home, tending to the cattle and fences on the ranch, or one of his various project construction sites…he had an Aggie tale for me. My favorite probably being how he lost (and retrieved) his Aggie Ring by way of a pregnant cow in his veterinary days.

After a lifetime of these tales from my best friend/grandfather, I knew that if I was going to turn the page on a chapter as special to me as my 5 years in the US Navy was, it could only be because nearly 70 years after he left campus, I would be going to campus. He left FROM campus to go off to WWII and I came TO campus from OEF.

Now, school was never my strong suit, no matter how many times I “studied” all night at The Chicken; but due to my loyalty to Texas A&M and my grandfather, I was determined to graduate. Finally, in August of last year, graduation arrived. My sister came all the way in from Paris (not France) and my brother came in from Miami, FL to celebrate.

With the memories of decades carved in the very fiber of this place, I thought it only fitting that we celebrate at the Chicken to share with them some of my own Aggie tales I had gathered over “4 years and some change”, and reminisce of the stories our grandfather told us of this town that planted the special love of Aggieland within our hearts at a young age. Here’s to many more nights throughout many more decades…at The Chicken.

My grandfather couldn’t make it in town for graduation due to physical limitations at age 94 but I still wanted to include a photo of he and I at my little graduation lunch with just my grandparents and I in my hometown of Clarksville, TX. (He’s not wearing his ring because it was stolen about 10 years ago in a break-in at their house…but I swear he’s an Ag haha)

John Kelty ’16

PICTURED:
(Me, sister Laura, brother Brent)
(grandfather James F Kelty, Me)

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!

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

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

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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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

1977

World's First

Death Burger Championship

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1976

40c Beer

Bonfire Fuel

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Bonfire Fuel

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

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