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.

1997

9 April 1997: the 10th anniversary of the day I got my ring.

A little white lie and a ring dunk

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1997

A little white lie and a ring dunk

As I did not get the opportunity to celebrate the day, I made the executive decision to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the day. An honest school teacher, I lied to my then department chair (he went to that other school in Austin and I knew he would not understand) that my sister (’94) was sick and I would be missing two days of school during the last week of the six weeks because I needed to go see her, I drove 8 hours through rain and hail to meet her, I dunked my ring in style, I drove 8 hours home the next day, and taught my classes the following day with a smile. To this day, when my head hits the pillow, I do not have any trouble falling asleep! WHOOP!

My sister Betsy ‘94 (left) and me celebrating the above mentioned 10th anniversary of my ring day.

-SG Cranford ’88

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

2013

Sweet Home Alabama!?

2013 Alabama home game…

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alabama vs Texas A&M at Dixie Chicken

Pictured is my wife Diane and great friend Cary Bauer, Class of ’74.

2013

2013 Alabama home game…

The Alabama home game in 2013, a rematch against Johnny Football. This was Bama’s first visit to Kyle Field in an SEC tilt. I was unable to find tickets to the game that did not involve mortgaging my home. So we came to town anyway from Houston, arrived early at the Chicken and watched the game from the friendly confines of the Chicken. As you can imagine, the Chicken was packed that day with about 50/50 Tide versus good guys… About an hour before game time, the sound system all the sudden broke into Sweet Home Alabama to the surprised glee of the Bama contingent. They were cheering wildly, singing and high fiving… about 10 seconds into the song, the music abruptly stopped… after about a 5 second silent pause, Noble Men of Kyle came blasting through the sound system at full volume. Amazing moment. Actually best moment ever in the Chicken for me. The bewildered Bama fans all had that ‘what just happened?’ look on their faces.

Classic…

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

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

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

2015

She said yes

Put the ring in a box of bones…

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proposal at dixie chicken

He put a ring on it

2015

Put the ring in a box of bones…

Last April I decided it was time to propose to my beautiful fiancé (girlfriend at the time). I’m from a tiny town just North of Lubbock and she’s from a town outside of San Antonio. When I started school at A&M I met her through a student group that puts a high value on hanging out at the bird, so when the time came to ask her to be my wife, I knew exactly where I wanted to do it. I didn’t want to ask under the century tree, cause even though it is beautiful and has a fantastic story, it just was not us. I went to the front bar and asked the bartender to put the ring in a box of bones and to give me that specific box when I came to get dominoes. All of our friends were there already as she walked in. We sat down and ordered a beer ( I ordered a few more than one) and finally I asked if anyone wanted to play some 42. I went and picked up the box and came back to the table and asked her to be mine forever and she said yes!! I attached a picture of the moment, and the best part of the picture is actually my buddy joes face haha

Christopher Coulombe

2015

Celebrated with Tijuana fries

Married at the Chicken…

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Wedding at the Dixie Chicken

2015

Married at the Chicken…

Of the numerous Chicken stories that we have, our favorite, by far was the day we eloped at the Chicken.
On December 12th, 2015 my fiancé Shell and I had planned to elope under the Century Tree with a few of our closest friends. Mother Nature had other plans. It rained over 7 inches that day.
Since our plan was to head to the Chicken for the reception anyway, we decided to call the manager and ask if we could do the ceremony there also. Because there was only 6 of us they said that wasn’t a problem. The staff cheered as we walked in. We ordered a couple of pitchers and proceeded to the back of the room where we were blissfully wed. After that we celebrated with burgers, Tijuana fries, and pitchers of Shiner. It was the best day in our absolute favorite bar. Whoop! Thanks and gig ’em!

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

2016

He's not an Aggie, but...

It’s where I met my fiance

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2016

It’s where I met my fiance

I am a recent Aggie grad and The Chicken is one of my favorite memories. Mainly because that’s where I met my fiancé. We met in June of 2016 and we are getting married in April 2018. We’ve had great times there ever since and always talk about going back to visit for some cold beer and cheese fries. Unfortunately, he’s not an Aggie but, thanks to me and his time visiting me in college, he has great things to say about Aggieland, especially The Dixie Chicken. The night we met is my all time favorite memory of college and I owe it you guys for making The Chicken such a fun atmosphere.

Claire Williams, ’17 and Kyle Dalton

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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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