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

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

1977

World's First

Death Burger Championship

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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

2006

First Date

Goodnight Irene…

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Dixie Chicken First Date

2006

Goodnight Irene…

It was a regular girls night out. We (my girlfriends and I) always ended up at the Dixie Chicken for some Tijuana fries and Goodnight Irene to end the night. My friends and I loved to hear “Guacamole” by the Texas Tornados, so I went up to the front bartender to ask him to play it. I thought the bartender was really cute. I went back up there and asked him for a pad of paper and a pen. He threw me a guest check book and I wrote down my name and number, gave it back to him, and told him to call me. He did- that night after he got off around 4am! I didn’t meet up with him then because I was already asleep, but we did meet up soon after. The rest is history- that bartender, Mason Moore, is now my husband! We got married on Aug 1, 2009, had our first son on Dec 21, 2014, and are expecting twin girls in March 2017! Thanks Dixie Chicken for setting us up! Here is a picture from the night that we met. 🙂 (At least, that’s when I think we took it!)

Beth Moore

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

I bought my first legal beer there in '76...

From patron to employee

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1976

From patron to employee

I bought my first legal beer there in ’76, when you just had to be 18. Worked for Don & Donnie summer/fall of ’79, when all the beer was iced down longnecks. 50¢ for most beer, Lone Star was 35¢. Wine coolers 60¢.

To his daughters: He used to have an office upstairs with a cute picture of you two with makeup all over your faces. He would use that to warn us about stealing and said: “When you steal from me, you steal from them”.

2017

I took my ring to the Chicken to dunk it before I put it on...

Receiving my Aggie Ring was one of the most anticipated moments of my life.

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2017

Receiving my Aggie Ring was one of the most anticipated moments of my life.

On April 7, 2017, I received my Aggie Ring. Receiving my Aggie Ring was one of the most anticipated moments of my life. Surrounded by those who have impacted my life in enormous ways, I finally joined what I like to call the “Real Aggie Club.” Like my dad, FTA Class of ’90 did before me, I took my ring to the Chicken to dunk it before I put it on. My family and I sat around, had a couple pitchers, lunch, and generally enjoyed each others’ company before I finally managed to get through an entire pitcher mostly by myself. I have worked hard to be where I am today, but that could never have happened without the support of my parents. I am so thankful to attend this university, and the part of my life I am most scared for is any path that takes me away from Aggieland.

Charolotte Hammer ’18

1988

It was the fall of 1988, the first week of class...

I have a little story for you Aggies! A LOVE story!

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1988

I have a little story for you Aggies! A LOVE story!

I have a little story for you Aggies! A LOVE story! Whoop! . My new roommates and I decided to do a little bonding over a few games of 42. So, like all good Ags, we headed to the Dixie Chicken. We played a few games of 42, and after a little while two of my roommates got up to leave. At that same time two guys from the table next to us got up to leave. We looked at the two remaining players, they looked at us, and I don’t remember who suggested it, but we combined players and continued to play. At the end of the night, the handsome green-hazel eyed CT asked me for my number. And so it began! Whoop!

Below is my husband and I with our three children at Student Bonfire, 2015. My daughter was a Green Pot 2016, and she is a senior this year, Victoria Smith ’18. My son in the middle is a freshman this year, Andrew Smith ’21. And with the grace of God, the youngest, far right will be an Aggie class of 2024, Mario Smith, III.
Sophie Smith ’90
Mario Smith ’89

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

2002

on a whim, my friend and I decided to walk down to the Chicken...

Grabbing a beer turned into a lifetime love!

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2002

Grabbing a beer turned into a lifetime love!

My husband (class of 2001) and I met at the Dixie Chicken on July 14th, 2002. After being at Shadow Canyon most of the night, on a whim, my friend and I decided to walk down to the Chicken. There was a Gary P. Nunn concert on the back porch that hot sultry night. We came in to grab a beer and sit inside for a while. As we sat there chatting about considering a move to Houston to further my career, my future husband approached and asked if we’d like to join he and his friends. As we all sat together, we hit it off instantly. We sat there and talked like we had known each other for many years. After a game of pool he asked for my phone number. After 7 months of dating, we married on February 22, 2003 at the All Faith’s Chapel on the campus of A&M. We have been married 17 wonderful years and have 4 awesome kids (future Aggies) together. When we want to relive our younger years, we take a trip back to College Station and to The Chicken. This is where our love story began. The Dixie Chicken will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Amber Wittnebert

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

1999

Billy Faught

At graduation, my Mom said “Well, you don’t have to eat chicken anymore. Must have seen 100 checks written to that Dixie Chicken restaurant.”

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