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Hot Mexican in Fairmount

Tim Spinner and Brian Sirhal of Cantina Feliz are taking over Illuminare.

Tim Spinner and Brian Sirhal, whose Cantina Feliz is the toast of Fort Washington, have signed on for 2321 Fairmount Ave., taking over the lovely Art Museum-area rowhouse space that was Illuminare.

Chef Spinner and front-of-the-houser Sirhal, longtime friends and alums of Jose Garces' Distrito, hope to open in January.

They're calling it La Calaca Feliz, as in the "happy skeleton" -- maintaining the Day of the Dead motif that they're doing loosely at Cantina Feliz. "Mexican with modern and old world interpretations" is Spinner's description. Chef de cuisine will be Lucio Palazzo, last at Xochitl. (Updated)

Also on the local Mexican front: The BYO Isabel is getting close at 2601 Pennsylvania Ave.