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

Old Ads, Ags.

Progressive Country & Rock

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Dixie Chicken 1974 Ad

Bryan/College Station Visitors Guide - 1974

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.

2015

Is there a 1st Grade?

Intro to the Dixie Chicken

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2015

Intro to the Dixie Chicken

Most memories I can’t remember or repeat, however, my wife (’01) and I (’98) had the privilege of taking our daughter (’31) to the chicken, and the next day, after asking if TAMU had a 1st grade, my daughter said she wanted to go back to the Chicken and play some bones

– Ryan ’98

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

 

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.”