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The developers of a future downtown Silver Spring food hall have announced that a cheesesteak eatery and Mexican taqueria will be among the dozen merchants.

Cana Development and GBT Realty Corp. announced in a press release last week that Tokoa, a local establishment specializing in cheesesteaks, and the D.C.-based J&J Mex-Taqueria would be coming to Commas food hall, when it eventually opens in a 13,000-square-foot space in Ellsworth Place mall in downtown Silver Spring.

Evelyn Cruz and Delmy Hernandez, friends and longtime restaurant workers, started Tokoa as a restaurant that will focus on cheesesteaks and burgers, which include the “traditional” Philly Cheesesteak, along with a spicy cheesesteak and a cheese-stuffed burger, according to the press release.

J&J Mex-Taqueria is a family business run by Jose Tovar and Jose Tovar, a father and son with the same name. According to J&J’s website, the father started the restaurant in 2015 out of a desire to share authentic dishes from his Mexican heritage with the greater D.C. community. His wife, Jhosselyn, works behind the counter and sisters Nancy and Saralee Tovar work on the customer service side, according to the website.

Developers had previously said Commas was scheduled to open some time this year, although no specific date was given. Representatives from the food hall could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Commas announced in the spring that Gaithersburg-based DMV Empanadas and Trini Vybez, a Trinidadian establishment that began as a food truck, would also be opening in the food hall.


The name Commas refers to the fact that the punctuation mark can be used to separate items in a list, which symbolizes “the myriad of ways to dine and get together,” the developers have said previously.

Dan Schere can be reached at