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.

2016

Archive

My Daughter’s Favorite Burger!

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2016

My Daughter’s Favorite Burger!

My family has always been Ags. My stepmom and brother both graduated there. As the only non-grad, I had to find a way to get there. As a firefighter, I was able to attend the annual TAMU fire school. When I became a Dad, I knew the college I wanted my daughter to attend. When she was in elementary and middle school, we made nearly every game we could. Each time we came to The Chicken.

At first, my daughter saw it only as “a bar where Dad drank beer.” But after her first bite of a Freddy burger, I knew she was hooked. Why you ask? Because I couldn’t get a darn bite! I bought it only as a hunch she might like it! Now. If we’re in town for a game, she will know the time the game ends and the time The Chicken gets crowded and let me know it’s time to go.

I’ve told her the history of the place and explained the names etched in the walls and th tables. After about her fourth trip there she snuck in a Sharpie and while waiting on our food, left our mark at the Chicken. It’s now or defacto place to go on trips there. She limits her dear old dad to two beers but states she’s not limited in her food choices or her places to sit.

As a single Dad, it gives me such an honor to pass on to my little girl, the sense of feeling that the Dixie Chicken is. For all of us that have inhabited it since it’s glory days and the gravel parking lot; we know it’s more than just a bar or burger joint. It’s a way of life, it’s a family dinner on Sunday, it’s the pace you see your friends, it’s the place you’ve shared losses and gains. More greater than that, it’s a place we call home. And the Beasley’s, Kristen and Troy, call it home too. Thank you for all the memories!

– Troy Beasley

1976

Then, there he was...

Meet my husband over 40 years ago!

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1976

Meet my husband over 40 years ago!

It was 41 years ago this JULY 5, 2017, when I met my husband at the DIXIE CHICKEN:

After losing my first husband in a car crash, I was at the Dixie Chicken wearing a pink tank top that read “I’m Single” and blue jean shorts. I had one beer: Schlitz in a bottle. (I don’t, and didn’t drink much.)

Then… there he was wearing a V-neck white t-shirt, Wrangler blue jeans, boots, and had blonde hair: “Are you alone, or are you waiting for someone?”

I hesitated only a second, “I’m alone.”

He invited me to his table, where he was playing pool.

We’re now married, our three children are grown, and we have seven grandchildren. It all started at a random meeting – at the Dixie Chicken

Thank you, folks – for the love of my life.

– Sheri Bockelman

2014

The Dixie Chicken has been there as a shining beacon for this young Aggie...

A home away from home

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2014

A home away from home

My first (legal) beer. Exciting parties. A breakup. Drowning my sorrows. No matter the occasion, the Dixie Chicken has been there as a shining beacon for this young Aggie. The first time I was able to set foot on the glorious back porch of The Chicken was in 2008 When I was first visiting campus. We had a tour at 1 o’clock and we decided to grab lunch first. The hospitality and friendliness of the bar was my first real taste of what being an Aggie was all about. The first time I spent extensive time with my friends in the Texas A&M singing cadets was at a Thursday night dinner at The Chicken where I first learned about the game 42. After that, many of my college nights are spent spending time with my friend James, Adam, Ryan, and many others enjoying fine beer, great company, red dirt country, and playing 42 until the pitchers ran dry. The Thursday after I turned 21, I remember my cousin Zane inviting me out for a beer. This of course turned into shots over at the Dry Bean and to many more fun times at The Chicken. I’ve watched many away games there, was broken up with there on a Sunday afternoon, and contemplated life decisions while sipping on a Shiner. No matter the occasion, I’ll always find my way back to the place I’ve come to call a home away from home, other than Olsen Field of course.

Robert White, ’14

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

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

1976

40c Beer

Bonfire Fuel

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Bonfire Fuel

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!

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

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

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

1995

we shared a couple pitchers talked for hours...

From co-workers to marriage

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1995

From co-workers to marriage

Well I’ve finally gotten around to sending you some pictures and telling our story….the summer of 95 I was working at the chicken…first in the kitchen flipping burgers, then the bar pouring drafts and finally a manager. Although just about every night was memorable at work at the Chicken, one was more so…the night I met a girl who worked upstairs counting money with Peggy. Looking back over 20 years we still have slight variations of the “true” story but the one common element we both recall is that life changed for both of us that night. After work we shared a couple pitchers talked for hours and 6 months later, we were engaged to be married. We took our engagement pictures on the front porch and had our reception party at shadow canyon. The Dixie Chicken has always been such a huge part of our lives that when we finally built a house 20 years later, we built a room that resembled the place we met, with wood walls, animal trophies hanging, pictures of good friends, license plates, neon signs, beer mirrors and even an authentic domino table we bought at an auction. Some of the best moments of our lives with some of the best friends we’ll ever have were right there in the famous Dixie Chicken.

Erick, c/o ’95, & Erin, c/o ’97, Westerholm

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!