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New restuarant coming in Alison 2 space - Ft. Washington

According to Michael Klein on Philly.com -

"Chef Tim Spinner is Jose Garces' longest-serving chef, serving by his side since 2003, when Garces started running the kitchen at El Vez for the Starr Restaurant Organization.

Spinner later followed Garces and ran the kitchen at Amada, appeared with his boss in the finale of The Next Iron Chef, and toured Mexico with Garces during the planning of Distrito.

Spinner, now chef de cuisine at Distrito, is leaving the nest, as he told his staff Friday afternoon.

Spinner and Distrito beverage director Brian Sirhal are opening Cantina Feliz, a modern/traditional Mexican resto with a bar, at 424 S. Bethlehem Pike in Fort Washington. The spot, which was Alison two briefly, for many years was Marita's Cantina, an ultracasual Mexican eatery.

Spinner, whose wife, Sandy, grew up down the road in Flourtown, said they will do cosmetic changes only; they're going for rustic.

They'll keep dinner entrees at $15 to $25 and will be open for lunch and dinner at the outset, which is aimed at November-December."

This is exciting!

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  1. that is exciting! thanks for sharing!

    1 Reply
    1. Thanks for sharing, this makes me really happy too! I had heard that Castello was moving to this space, I am really excited for a mexican spot!!!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: AmblerGirl

        Castello moved to the original Alison in Blue Bell.. so you have two good restaurants closer to you.

        1. re: cwdonald

          Oh great! I loved the old Alison space, glad Castello is there!

      2. so, does he have to stop being on "Iron Chef"?

        1 Reply
        1. This is from the Craig LeBan chat of today -

          [Comment From Beth Beth: ]
          Craig - all us Montco foodies are excited with the announcement of a Garces' protege going into the space that was formally Alisons 2 in Fort Washington. Can you give us a peek at what we might expect?

          Tuesday August 24, 2010 2:46 Beth
          2:52 Craig: I'm happy for you, too, Beth - and you should be excited. Having just spoken about Garces' stellar team of cooks just a bit earlier in this chat, Tim Spinner was one of his best lieutenants, having cooked alongside Jose at Amada, El Vez and Distrito (not to mention the championship meal in Kitchen Stadium on the Next Iron Chef). I haven't spoken to Tim yet or seen his menu, but I'm guessing Cantina Feliz is going to have a Mexican theme. Based on his resume alone, I think Spinner knows his way around a tortilla press and mole pot. If it is, indeed, an affordable concept, as I've read, I think that Fort Washington space finally has a chance of being the hit we hoped it would become (but didn't) under previous chef-owner Alison Barshak. Talk about an area that could really use a good restaurant....

          2 Replies
          1. re: Betharu

            I am really looking forward to this restaurant opening!