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.

1989

16 years later

Met while working in 1989…

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1989

Met while working in 1989…

I worked at The Chicken in 1989…. my last semester in Aggieland. Started as the daytime front bar man and worked my way to Manager.

At the time, I noticed a pretty little sophomore working in the kitchen with Janelle and Freddie, named Maria. Smiles turned into flirts, turned into dates and we spent a few months dating.

I graduated, we broke up, and I moved away but I never forgot that pretty girl I dated while working at The Chicken.

16 years later (2005), I get an email, “Remember Me?” and six months later we were married!! We now have 2 kids (Class of ’26 & ’28).

Ben Denison ’88
Maria Theologos Denison ’94

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

1998 and 2015

18 years apart

Random table turns into trip down memory lane

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1998 and 2015

Random table turns into trip down memory lane

Our family sat down for lunch on November 8, 2015. My husband looked up on the wall beside our (randomly picked) table and found our names – signed November 8, 1997. We were in the exact same spot on the same day 18 years apart.

– Dana Chancellor

2003

Archive

My first paid gig

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2003

My first paid gig

The Dixie Chicken is where I had my first paid gig. It took 6 months of playing there for free and then I got a raise, 4 hours of music for $100. I have so many great memories of The Chicken and it will always have a place in my big maroon heart.

– Rich O’Toole, Texas Country artist

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.

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

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!

2000

Football, the Chicken, then a ring...

A Dixie Chicken Proposal!

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2000

A Dixie Chicken Proposal!

On the night of the Texas Tech game in 2000, I brought my boyfriend, Paul Hones, to my favorite bar, the Dixie Chicken. Standing near where the two sides come together, he proposed. An Aggie girls dream!

– Cindy Dobbs Hons, Class of 1983.

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

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

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.

2017

She didn't believe me when I told her about the tradition...

Carved our names in the wood

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2017

Carved our names in the wood

When my girlfriend and I first started talking, I was telling her all about Northgate and The Chicken and how famous it is. When I told her about the tradition of carving your name in the wood she didn’t believe me. So I invited her to a baseball game back in 2015 (the Regional game against Wake Forrest that ended 22-1 A&M). Well after the game I asked her if she wanted to go anywhere and she told me to choose somewhere. So I decided to take her to The Chicken to show her how awesome the place was. She loved it and was really surprised that people actually carved their names into the wood and how old some of them where. And since that day we go to The Chicken as much as possible always talking about carving our names in the wood and never doing it. Fast forward to our 1 year Anniversary on October 31, 2017 and we are in College Station to celebrate where it all started. We went to The Chicken and I decided to finally carve our names in the wood. It may not have looked really good but it didn’t matter, she loved that we finally carved our names and that it’ll be there every time we come back. And that we will try to sit next to it every time. Thanks for having so many awesome memories at y’all’s establishment and I hope to make many more.

– Josh Williamson