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Atmosphere at 620 State a perfect fit for downtown Bristol

Amanda Marsh • Aug 14, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Bristol is buzzing.

With the opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the Rhythm and Roots Reunion just around the corner, 620 State is the perfect downtown destination for upscale, casual dining.

"Lunch or dinner at 620 State pairs well with many of the events and activities in downtown Bristol," said Rafael Zabala, operating partner for the Stir Fry Restaurant Group, which includes Stir Fry Caf in Knoxville and Kingsport, Label Restaurant formerly known as 112 in Johnson City, and 620 State in Bristol.

The restaurant group has evolved since establishing Stir Fry Caf in Knoxville 22 years ago, creating an atmosphere that appeals to everyone.

"It's a really good mix of people who come to 620 State," Zabala said. "One person might be in gym clothes, grabbing a bite to eat after working out, while another group is having a business meeting."

The Asian Fusion and American menu offerings at 620 State draw this diverse crowd. Zabala says the Asian segment of the restaurant business is small, so by offering a larger food selection, it broadens appeal.

Not only are there a lot of foods to choose from, new items are added to the menu regularly. The volcano sushi roll with seared scallops and shrimp topped with firecracker sauce is a new favorite, as well as the fire starter roll with sauce made with jolokia or "ghost" peppers.

"A group of four looking for a place to have dinner, chances are, each of them will find something they like at 620 State," Zabala said. "One might have sushi, another steak and the others order hamburgers."

Upscale, casual dining at 620 State is child-friendly, too. Recently, healthier kid's meals such as grilled chicken and broccoli were added to the menu. These improvements are aimed at making families feel more comfortable about visiting, Zabala said.

Given the rich music roots of Bristol, live music has been a part of 620 State since its inception in 2011. Music brings hungry music listeners downtown, whether it's in house or across the street at the Paramount Center for the Arts or a Border Bash event

"Bands look toward Bristol as a distinguished place to play," Zabala said.

Live music at 620 State starts around 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday nights. In the spirit of the new Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Zabala says there will be more country acts taking the stage. A current schedule is on www.620state.com or on the "620 State Restaurant and Venue" Facebook page.

In addition to the food and music, the Foundation Event Facility is located above 620 State and can hold up to 400 people for events such as weddings and business meetings. Customers can order from the 620 State or catering menu for guests.

The 620 State Restaurant is located at 620 State Street in Bristol and opens at 11 a.m. weekdays and at noon weekends. Online ordering is available at www.stirfrygroup.com. For additional information, call 423-652-0314.

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