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.

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

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

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.

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

1991

I love going back and seeing how little it’s changed...

Fish Camp 1991: First Chicken Experience

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1991

Fish Camp 1991: First Chicken Experience

My first Chicken experience was on the night we came back from Fish Camp entertaining the Fall 91 semester. Let’s just say our counselors gave us a warm welcome into one of the best Aggie traditions—a cold beer at the Chicken (quite a few). From that night I was hooked. I lived just across the street at Walton so I applied for a job soon after. My “interview” with owner Don Gantner consisted of “Where’d you grow up, boy?” And “What’s your daddy do for a living?” I guess he liked my answers because is soon found myself working in the kitchen. I can say I learned to cook making Freddy burgers and Tijuana fries. It was a fun job. I eventually was promoted to work the back bar (long brass one where pitchers are served) and as a “swamper” (the guys who make their way through the crowds collecting empty bottles and pitchers). They were some late nights—I’ve seen the Chicken with all the overhead lights on and it wasn’t pretty. But it was fun and I left each night with a plastic cup full of cash and quarters from my cut of the tip pitchers. Upsides: half price on food and beer (when not on the clock) and flirting with drunk girls. Downside: missed a few football games and being completely sober at closing. I can tap a keg and pour a perfect beer with minimal foam. I love going back and seeing how little it’s changed though pushing a stroller through it once was pretty surreal. It was a key part of Aggieland education and my favorite bar ever. Attached is a pic of the night I christened my ring (I’m holding the pitcher) and a more recent picture of my initials still carved on the wall in the front entry between the glass door and swinging doors. I etched them into the wall one night with my dorm key while checking ID’s.

Russell Kolb

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…

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

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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1974

Old Ads, Ags.

Progressive Country & Rock

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Dixie Chicken 1974 Ad

Bryan/College Station Visitors Guide - 1974

1988

Still the best hire I've ever made...

Help Wanted: Apply Upstairs

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1988

Help Wanted: Apply Upstairs

In January of 1988 I was working as a Manager for the Dixie Chicken. During the week before classes started, a young woman brought her mother in to show her “The Chicken”. As they walked in the front door, her Mom noticed the “Help Wanted, Apply Upstairs” sign and told her daughter, “You need to get a job, go upstairs and apply”. So she did.

Just as she finished turning in the application, I walked upstairs. Peggy, the secretary said, “Larry, this is Beth Partheymuller, she is looking for a job”.

I asked, “Can you work Tuesday & Thursday lunch rushes?”

“Yes.”

“You’re hired, I’ll see you at 11:00 on Tuesday.”

We started dating a couple of months later, then got married in November of 1988.

It has now been 30 years and that was still the best hire I’ve ever made.

We took the family to the Chicken in January of 2018 for a “pilgrimage” to where it all started for us.

Larry Odom ’88 (actual grad ’91)

Beth Odom ’91 (actual grad ’92)

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

 

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.”