Dixie Chicken (bar)
The Dixie Chicken, also known as The Chicken, has been "College Station's most famous watering hole since 1974," and is notable for its role in Texas A&M University tradition. "Nationally known," the Dixie Chicken claims to serve the most beer per square foot of any bar in the United States.
“One of the most recognizable restaurants in College Station,” the Dixie Chicken is known as Texas A&M's "favorite local watering hole." The Dixie Chicken is the oldest and most famous bar in the Northgate district, has a live rattlesnake on the premises, and is home to a weekly domino tournament. The Dixie Chicken was founded by Don Anz and Don Ganter, businessmen who were involved with several organizations related to Texas A&M. Ganter died in 2004, just days after the Dixie Chicken had its 30th anniversary.
In the late 1970s, the Aggie tradition of "ring dunking" began at the Dixie Chicken. In this tradition concerning Ring Day, a student drops their class ring into a pitcher of beer which is then chugged on the back porch of the Dixie Chicken. This is not a university-sanctioned tradition, though some estimate that anywhere between 25 to 75 percent of students dunk their rings. Along with a drinking provision that went into effect on April 3, 2005, instead of pitchers, students are only allowed to buy 32 ounce (950 mL) mugs of beer on Ring Day at the Dixie Chicken. Ring Dunking elsewhere, however, remains unregulated. In his comments to the Texas A&M graduating class of Fall 2008, President George W. Bush stated that, "Back in my day, I think I would have enjoyed dunk [sic] my ring." The president also joked about the absence of his Secretary of Defense (and former president of A&M) Robert Gates from the ceremony by stating, "It's not like he's over at the Dixie Chicken.”
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