This fall, Manayunk will find itself with a new kid on the block — Taqueria Feliz is slated to open Oct. 17 at 4410 Main Street — but owners Tim Spinner and Brian Sirhal are anything but new to the game.
With two successful locations to their brand, Cantina Feliz in Fort Washington and La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount, opening a third in Manayunk seemed like a natural progression.
"Even before opening our first location in Fort Washington we had flirted with a few spaces in Manayunk but could never find one that was quite right...so when we were looking to open our third, Manayunk was naturally on the radar. Luckily we found the right spot and the right people to help us make it happen," said Sirhal.
The restaurant will seat approximately 65 diners in a laid back atmosphere where large windows overlook the Manayunk Canal and Towpath.
The menu at Taqueria Feliz will be an "approachable menu for a lot of people," Sirhal said. It will be taco-focused with enchiladas, tortas, traditional Mexican drinks and a rotation of craft beers on draft, canned, and in large format bottles.
The duo, who met their freshman year of high school, have worked primarily in Mexican style cuisine throughout their careers. Tim had his professional debut alongside Jose Garces at El Vez, and both Sirhal and Spinner played instrumental roles in the opening of Garces' popular restaurants, particularly Distrito where Spinner served as chef de cuisine and Sirhal managed the front of house.
"It was the culture and the people that we fell in love with," Sirhal said.
"In opening our restaurants, we decided to stick with what we know and go from there...our goal for Manayunk is to be instrumental in helping to continue the dining resurgence. We want to bring some fresh flavors and a continued vibrancy," he continued.
Jane Lipton, Executive Director at the Manayunk Development Corporation was pivotal in bringing Spinner and Sirhal's to Manayunk.
"We have been working to revive the dining scene in Manayunk by laying on additional textures that will be a value add to our existing businesses," Lipton said. "Brian and Tim have such a wonderful working relationship, and their brand is exciting, full of interesting flavors and a little edgier than what we're used to."
"This really is a great time to be in Manayunk," she said.