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.

2009

Wedding pictures

Dixie Chicken Family

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2009

Dixie Chicken Family

My husband (’08) and I (’09) are proud members of the Dixie Chicken family! So many memories and lifelong friendships were made.

– Lauren Diehl

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

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

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.

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.

1992

A chance meeting leads to forever

An Aggie Victory Celebration

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1992

An Aggie Victory Celebration

October 3, 1992. A&M QB Jeff Granger escapes a sure sack and hits TE Greg Schorp for a first down to keep the Aggies’ final drive alive. Terry Venetoulias kicks the game-winning FG on the final play for a 19-17 win over Texas Tech. The late Homer Jacobs convinces Rusty Burson to stay in town instead of going back to Galveston and going out that night. Audra Watts Holifield and William Holifield convince Vannessa Blasingame Burson to stay in town instead of going back to Clear Lake. later that night, Rusty sees Vannessa walk in the back door of the Dixie Chicken. He grabs her by the arm and spins her around. The rest is history. They were married in 1993, and they now have two children at A&M and a third on the way.
-Rusty Burson

2003

I have so many great memories of The Chicken...

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

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.”

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

1988

aka Don's Boys

The Bud Crew…

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1988

The Bud Crew…

Back in the late 80’s I worked on the bud crew. I am not sure who reads this email but in case you do not know what the bud crew was, we were basically Don’s boys. We did whatever needed to be handled. Some days it might have been mowing his yard, the next mopping the Chicken, and the next catching his cows. I spent one summer working on Alfred T. Hornback’s. I forget what is was before that but an old carpenter named Ben and I did most of the work to make it a pool hall. I was also one of the guys that replaced the floor at the front bar. I probably have more stories than I have time to write but here are a couple of quick ones.

The little door that kind of hides the ice machine at the front bar was built by me. In true Don fashion I was given a hand saw, a few pieces of wood, a hammer, and a few nails. That was it. I built the door and hung it in such a fashion that when open it would hang the floor to keep it open. It all worked out great. Don looked at it and liked it but felt something was wrong. After thinking he realized that it looked too clean. He had me take it down, take it outside, and rub it down with mud. With a little effort it pretty much matched the rest of the Chicken so I put it back in place. I have not been there in the last few years but the last time I was there the door was still in place.

-John

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

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