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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Best of Aggieland: Reuniting Aggies new, old since 1974

Photo by Photo by Melanie McBride

The Dixie Chicken has been located at 307 University Drive for 48 years, serving beer and bar food to patrons in a casual, cowboy-esque environment.

Despite many local establishments closing their doors and new ones filling the spaces, Dixie Chicken has remained a Northgate favorite for almost 50 years.
Since 1974, Aggies have flocked to Dixie Chicken to enjoy pitchers of beer, games of pool and plates of the well-loved Tijuana fries. Dixie Chicken, or simply “the Chicken,” as dedicated patrons call it, has become a favorite for old and new Ags, as a place that brings people together no matter how long they’ve been apart. Going to the bar has become a tradition for many, and it is the birthplace of dunking the Aggie Ring in a pitcher of beer, though the practice is not allowed at the bar anymore. Through its many years of operation, the Chicken has undergone few changes, giving it both history and renown.
Since his uncle worked at the Chicken in its early days, university studies senior Clayton Collier said his connection to the bar runs deep.
“He’s told me stories about what all they used to do and about the original owner,” Collier said. “My uncle was actually one of the guys that helped start the tradition of Bottlecap Alley, which is pretty cool.”
Some of his best college memories are from the Chicken, Collier said — his favorite being Thursday night in March of 2020.
“It’s a night I still talk about today with the guys,” Collier said. “We all got together and sat on the back porch. We stayed there, just talking, having a few drinks and laughing all night long. We were probably there from the hour it opened until the time it closed.”
The Chicken has truly weathered the storm, both literally and figuratively, as the bar’s roof collapsed in the spring of 2020 due to severe weather. Despite various struggles, the oldest bar on Northgate has prevailed, keeping its swinging doors open for generations.
Collier said he attributes the Chicken’s long-time success to its unique nature.
“When you see the Chicken, it stands out,” Collier said. “You see bars nowadays, and they have more of that modern look. But when you look at the Chicken, you can just tell something’s different about it. The history behind it, the small traditions that have been formed around it alone is just amazing. That continued tradition of people coming back after graduating and then bringing their family or their sons and daughters to experience it is really special.”
Though other bars strive for an old country feel, Collier said the Chicken is the only one which captures it in a way that is genuine, rather than cheesy.
“It definitely has that essence of a cowboy bar,” Collier said. “It’s like those movies from the ‘80s with the wood floors; it just looks old. At the same time, with the crowd that’s in there, you know it’s still alive. On a pretty normal basis, I’ll grab a thing of Tijuana fries and a double-whiskey and coke. The Chicken has had quite a bit of my money.”
Communication senior Josh Pink said above anything else, he is continually impressed with the food and drinks the Chicken offers.
“The first time I went was when I was a sophomore, and I went and got lunch there with my mentor from the Corps [of Cadets],” Pink said. “It’s still my favorite burger in College Station. I get the Freddy Burger and Tijuana fries, and they have my favorite margarita on Northgate.”
Pink said the Chicken has proven to be a place that brings people together.
“It was my 22nd birthday a couple weeks ago,” Pink said. “It was nice because me and my friends are all pretty busy, and we hadn’t all been in the same place together at the same time in a long time. We were [at the Chicken] from 8 p.m. until closing, and it was good to just have my friends there from different circles, like my friends from my outfit, my [Cavalry] friends, my non-reg friends.”
Like Collier, Pink said the Chicken feels different than other bars, which is likely what brings many Aggies to its doors.
“I think there’s something special about it that makes it timeless, and that’s what it has going for it more so than anything else,” Pink said. “It doesn’t have the most competitive prices or a Michelin Star for food or anything, but it’s always going to be there, and it’s reliable in that way. You can’t be there and be in a bad mood.”
In his almost six years of working for Dixie Chicken, marketing director Adam Drake said the bar has given him a one-of-a-kind experience.
“It’s really cool seeing everyone come in on gameday, seeing everyone on social media talk about how [the Chicken] has become such an important part of their college experience, and then as it’s gotten older, how it’s stayed the same and how they still love coming back,” Drake said.
In light of multiple establishments on Northgate closing in 2020 and 2021, Drake said it’s humbling that the Chicken continues to be an Aggie favorite.
“We know how hard it is,” Drake said. “We’ve been here since 1974, almost 50 years, and we just try to do our best for our customers and we try not to change too much. We want to remain who we are, and I think people really appreciate that.”

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  • The Dixie Chicken has invented numerous traditions and has made itself an Aggieland institution.

    Photo by Photo by Melanie McBride

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