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.

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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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

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

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

1990

Archive

Ring christening turns into proposal…

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1990

Ring christening turns into proposal…

On September 1, 1990, my family was at the Chicken to christen my cousin’s ring. My boyfriend (now husband) dropped a ring in a pitcher and asked if I was ready to christen my ring. I was a year away from getting my Aggie ring, so I didn’t know what he was talking about. He pulled an engagement ring out of his pocket, dropped it into the pitcher, and asked me to marry him. The place went wild! I was showing someone the ring later that week, and a person nearby congratulated me, saying “Wow! You’re the one! I heard about that! Congratulations!” We have been married 25 years now. The Chicken will always be special to us!

Kasey Koenig-Edmundson

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!

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)

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

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

 

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”.

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

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