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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Bipartisan Bar

Photo by C. Morgan Engel

The Budweiser cartoon that hangs inside the Angry Elephant promotes a friendly political environment. 

By serving food such as “The FDR All-American Dog” and “The Bill Clinton Dirty Chili Cheese Dog” along with “liberal cocktails at conservative prices,” a new politically-themed bar in College Station is providing an atmosphere for fans of politics to let loose and discuss their views.
The Angry Elephant, a bar and grill franchise with two locations in San Antonio, opened its first location in College Station earlier this month. The bar, located on William D. Fitch Parkway, boasts of a comedic menu and is decorated with pictures of former presidents.
Chip Ingram, owner of the Angry Elephant franchise, said the bar is open for customers from both sides of the political spectrum. Because of this, he said the bar can feel like a sports bar on election days.
“We’re not strictly a Republican or Democrat bar,” Ingram said. “I was open for the first election between Obama and Romney, and it was like a Super Bowl atmosphere. People would come in and sit on the right or the left, and they watch, yell and clap. Sometimes they get after each other, but it’s always in good fun.”
Ingram said he doesn’t expect his customers to agree on everything. He said he wants to provide them a place to disagree, and have a drink while doing so.
“At the end of the day, people are more divided, not less divided when it comes to politics,” Ingram said. “People are more visceral, more angry than they’ve ever been. God forbid people sit down and don’t agree with each other and have a drink. At the end of the day, that’s the theme of this place.”
A large Budweiser cartoon hangs on the back wall, featuring an elephant and donkey toasting drinks and reads, “When gentlemen agree.” Other posters feature President Nixon’s infamous peace sign and President Obama smoking a cigarette. Tressie Medlock, Class of 2007, said the fun decorations provide the perfect atmosphere for a political discussion.
“I think you could probably come in here and have a nice conversation,” Medlock said. “The decor and funny menu lightens the mood, so that opens up room for a nice, healthy political conversation.”
Ingram recalled one of the most interesting occurrences that since opening the bar, when Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin visited his San Antonio location. According to Ingram, a customer brought Walker the Angry Elephant menu, which features a “Scott Walker Bratwurst,” inspiring the visit.
“His people called my cell phone and they said, ‘The governor is going to be in town. He heard you had a bratwurst named after him, and he wants to come by,’” Ingram said. “I thought, ‘Who is this?’ I thought one of my friends was messing with me. Sure enough, the next day, he shows up. It was pretty cool.”
Ingram said the bar doesn’t have to be a place for political discussion. In fact, he said there are nights nobody talks about politics. Jackie Gronburgy, a College Station resident, said she enjoys the political theme, but isn’t interested in talking about today’s politics.
“I love the environment,” Gronburgy said. “The walls, the black and white pictures and I’m not even big on politics. It’s a fun menu, too. So far, it’s been a great experience.”
According to Ingram, the first Angry Elephant location didn’t have much cooking space, which led him to focus on one primary menu item: Hot dogs.
“I decided I loved hot dogs and I would just try to do the best hot dog possible,” Ingram said. “We actually fly our hot dogs in from Chicago. They’re 100 percent Black Angus. They’re the same ones they serve at [Chicago] Cubs games. Then, I decided I’m going to do a bunch of hot dogs named after presidents and try to write funny descriptions and stuff like that.”
Megan Dorsey, Class of 2016, said the food keeps her coming back to The Angry Elephant.
“This is our second time here,” Dorsey said. “The food made us want to come back. Last time, I got the Dirty Bill Clinton and this time I got the JFK. They were both really good.”
Dorsey said she’s happy about the new bar, and plans to return and try other menu items.
“I’m glad we stumbled across it,” Dorsey said. “We like to branch out and try a lot of different restaurants. We’ll definitely be back.”

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  • The Angry Elephant offers customers politically themed entrées and drinks in a unique atmosphere. 

    Photo by C. Morgan Engel
  • The Henry Cisneros Mexican Dog, named after the former mayor of San Antonio, and the Pacifist sandwich are two of the many politically named entres on the menu. 

    Photo by C. Morgan Engel
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