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In a world where corporate entities often overshadow locally owned businesses, "support local" is my mantra. For the most part, I dine at locally owned businesses and prefer mom-and-pop shops over chains.

Last month I was joined by coworkers at 615 District, located at 1950 S. Church St. in Murfreesboro at the old Shoney's, which closed in December 2020.

It took more than six months to overhaul this restaurant location, which sat empty for months before 615 District owner Markita Medaries took over. His first foray into the restaurant scene judi slot online jackpot terbesar deposit pulsa in Murfreesboro was Ms. Marian's Cafe, 1513 E. Main St., which specializes in wings, fried favorite foods and soul food on Sundays.

"We just really wanted to do something like a sit-in restaurant, more formal," Medaries said.

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Although Ms. Marian's caters to a to-go clientele, 615 District is a full-service restaurant with a bar and couches with side tables so friends can gather for casual conversation. There's also 10 TVs scattered throughout.

615 District opened at 1950 S. Church St. in Murfreesboro in February, more than a year after Shoney's closed there. The owners gutted the interior and refurbished with a more modern look.

"It's a place where you can meet and socialize, but it's still a restaurant," Medaries said.

Group gathering space is available, too.

On the menu

The menu features a blend of meat-and-three favorites, pub-style foods such as fried pickles and potato skins, steaks, wings, burgers, sandwiches and salads. And you can't forget the desserts like carrot cake, chess pie and banana pudding.

Our group started with the queso spinach dip and chips. I'm not a huge fan of cooked spinach and there was an inordinate amount in the dip. But it was still good.

On the menu at 615 District, 1950 S. Church St. in Murfreesboro: Fried catfish and cole slaw.

We all liked the wings. And why wouldn't we? It's a specialty at Ms. Marian's and they are excellent at 615 District — crispy and meaty.

We tried a variety of the sauces and rubs. Honey hot and sweet heat were spicy but not overpowering. My favorite, by far, was lemon pepper. I've tried numerous versions from restaurants and commercial spice makers, and this is the best I've ever had. I loved it to much, I asked for extra and put it on everything I ate that day.

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If you like something basic, you can't go wrong with the burger and seasoned steak fries.

We also ordered the Philly cheesesteak and it must've been an off day. The meat was pretty bland and I expected Cheez Whiz instead of provolone (although both are accepted in the world of cheesesteak aficionados).

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The catfish was fresh, lightly breaded and crispy. Although the tartar sauce was pretty standard, I used the lemon pepper to jazz it up a bit.

I'll be honest, my first visit to 615 District was just OK, although we loved the wings and fish was fresh.

But the second trip, I decided to try the side of the menu that has endeared Ms. Marian's to our family: the soul food. 615 District did not disappoint.

615 District on the menu: Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and turnip greens.

The fried chicken breast was juicy on the inside, crispy and flavorful — with a very mild kick — on the outside. I thoroughly enjoyed it and so did my son.

The macaroni and cheese was perfect, mounded with lots of cheese and a little pepper to spice it up. I'm typically leery when ordering turnip greens at a restaurant because most of the time, they are mushy. But 615 District greens were solid and already had a spicy kick, so I didn't need to douse them in vinegar for flavor.

What else to know

The Southern soul food menu runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. I got a huge plate of meat and two vegetables for $12.

Get $2 tacos and tequila each Tuesday.

Wednesday night is Kids Night. Get a free kids' meal with the purchase of an adult entree.

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There are 75-cent wings all day every Thursday. Next week the restaurant will host free bingo games.

Happy hour is 5-8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, with half-price appetizers and three-for-one (you read that right) drinks. Eventually she hopes to have live music.

But on Sunday, 615 District pulls out stops with a giant menu of soul food and Southern favorites like fried pork chops, meatloaf, ox tails, roast, beans of all kinds, cole salad, slaw, greens and potatoes, just to name a few on the list. You can even find chitterlings, gizzards and liver and onions on the menu.

Reach reporter Nancy DeGennaro at degennaro@dnj.com. Keep up with restaurant news by joining Good Eats in the 'Boro (and beyond) on Facebook and follow Murfreesboro Eats on TikTok.

This article originally appeared on Murfreesboro Daily News Journal: 615 District in Murfreesboro: Southern, soul food, cocktails, brews