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From the Memorial Student Center and the Dixie Chicken to old Northgate haunts, read what former students had to say about the choicest spots to study, gather or take a load off.

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The Dixie Chicken

The Dixie Chicken was a great place to enjoy drinks, music, snacks, games and conversation!

Mary Spivey Hovden ’78
Mesa, Arizona

The Hut & Shipley's

Back in the 1960s, there were only three or four late-night places to go at Texas A&M and 50 or so women enrolled at the university. You weren't going to see any out at night, but if you wanted to take a break from studies, grab a burger and have a few laughs with other Ags, the Hut at Northgate next to the theater was the easiest to reach. It had a great Seeburg jukebox and decent food if you were starved. The other favorite was Shipley's in Bryan. Oddly, donuts were not the primary food served. Burgers or patty melts with fries were the most popular items. It looked more like a restaurant than a donut shop. It would all seem like something from the Stone Age to Aggies today.

Jerry Deutsch ’70
Seabrook, Texas

East Gate Lounge

East Gate Lounge. It was the perfect place for cold beer and camaraderie.

Terry Crenwelge ’72
College Station, Texas

Rudder Tower

My girlfriend and I would meet for lunch in Rudder Tower during our years on campus from 1983-87. We also hung out on the polo fields until we realized we were in the path of the driving range. That girlfriend is now my wife of 34 years, Amy Critz Gartlan ’88.

Donald Gartlan Jr. ’86
Gig Harbor, Washington

The MSC Cafeteria

The MSC Cafeteria. They had cheap coffee with free refills, which was great for a graduate student on a tight budget.

Fiona McCracken Allen ’82
Arlington, Texas


In the ’70s, Sparky's was a wonderful dive east of campus, popular with members of the Corps and the young ladies that swooned over a guy in uniform. They served pitchers of lukewarm Old Milwaukee and Pabst beer with questionable pizza. The four pool tables were rickety coin-operated things and not level, so the balls mostly gave in to gravity rather than geometry. The walls of the tiny dance room were black and painted over with hundreds of patrons’ names in fluorescent paint. The jukebox blared Johnny Russell's “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer,” the Eagles' “Lyin' Eyes,” and Jim Ed Brown's “Pop a Top.” On Aug. 25, 1978, I met the love of my life there, and my boot-chasin' days were over. Forty-four years later, we are still going strong. Sadly, I can't say the same for Sparky's.

Gail Jolly Green ’80
Garland, Texas

Sterling Evans Library

The Sterling Evans Library. I always enjoyed the quiet time away from everyone to concentrate and study.

Wayne Smith ’84
Maryland Heights, Missouri

Campus at Night

It's not exactly a "hangout," but I loved walking across campus late at night in late spring and early summer. The huge bushes around the Academic Building were night-blooming jasmine. Around 10 p.m., they released great waves of a beautiful scent that the breeze wafted across campus. It was lovely and very peaceful.

Suanne Grosskopf ’75
Antioch, Tennessee

Pi R Square

Pi R Square!

Michelle Patton ’94
Cypress, Texas

Sbisa Mess Hall

Sbisa Mess Hall

George Skladal ’54
Anchorage, Alaska

Los Nortenos & Dos Hermanos

Everybody loved Graham Central Station on Thursday night and the Dixie Chicken on Friday and Saturday nights (or any time for that matter), but the best places were the Los Nortenos and Dos Hermanos restaurants in old Bryan on Sunday mornings. We always had a bunch of guys (and whoever they brought with them) who got together for Sunday brunch to discuss the past week’s achievements and plan for the coming week. The food was plentiful and cheap and the atmosphere was laid back, which didn't bother anybody with a leftover headache from the several preceding days. Man, those were good days!

Darren Barfield ’89
Winton, California

Ralph's Pizza

Ralph's Pizza at Northgate after cruising A&W Root Beer Drive-In on Texas Avenue to meet up with other Aggies!

Ella Roberts ’71
Bryan, Texas

The Memorial Student Center

The Memorial Student Center. It was the center of campus and had a post office, coffee, and spots to hang out with friends or tutor each other between classes. I was on campus from 1958 until January 1961 and then from September 1967 through May 1970. Coming back was quite a culture shock to see how things had changed!

Thomas Wiley III ’62
Cameron, Texas

The Cow Hop

The Cow Hop for a cheap meal!

Sandy Sellers Stansbury ’86
Dallas, Texas

Computer Center Building

The study room in the computer center building. I spent many an hour there with fellow Air Force officers and one civilian student while earning my Master of Computing Sciences degree.

Gerald “Gerry” Lefchik ’68
Lititz, Pennsylvania

Flag Room

Hands down, the Flag Room at the MSC! It was a great respite between classes, and it was soothing when a fellow student would play a beautiful piece on the piano or a few Singing Cadets would break out in beautiful melody.

Sherilyn Mercer ’81
Georgetown, Texas

5 Favorite Spots

During my time in Aggieland from 1964-68, several locations were especially popular with the university’s 9,000 students:

  1. The MSC. It was the center of everything—dining, culture and entertainment.
  2. Wehrman’s Restaurant in Bryan. It had the best chicken fried steak in Texas!
  3. Coach Norton’s Restaurant. It was directly across from campus on Texas Avenue. It was owned and operated by a former Aggie coach and served good family fare.
  4. Cinco De Mayo. It was one of the few Mexican food restaurants in the area and had authentic Tex-Mex food.
  5. All Faiths Chapel. It was a popular hiding place for “fish.” On any given night, you would find scared freshmen bunking on the pews. It truly was a place of refuge!

John French ’68
Boerne, Texas

5 Best Spots for Food, Drinks and Dancing

Everyone who attended in the early ’80s loved the Dixie Chicken to drink, the Cow Hop to eat, the Creamery on campus for ice cream and the Hall of Fame for dancing. Another gem that I believe is gone was the Quonset Hut that was located one mile from campus. We used to have parties there. I believe it was owned by the Residence Hall Association. That was one of my favorite places to hang out while attending Texas A&M.

Claude Roberts ’83
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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