Forget the kindness of strangers—I have always depended on the cell phone snaps of nosy friends. Thanks, E!

A friend has been keeping me apprised of progress of a mysterious bar-type project going in on the ground floor of her building in lower Queen Anne. And Friday I managed to catch up with Jim Marsh; he and his brother Brandon are opening Triumph Bar at 114 Republican. 

Marsh doesn’t like to describe Triumph as a wine bar; he feels that moniker does a disservice to the craft cocktail list and a food menu heavy on cheese, cured meat, and small plates like grilled apricots with burrata and prosciutto, PB&J (that would be pork belly and jam), or heirloom tomatoes with spinach and crabmeat. The menu—still under development, so dishes are subject to change, mind you—is the handiwork of chef Jonathan Doar, who goes by JD. Most recently he was a sous chef at David Burke’s restaurant Fishtail in Manhattan; he relocated to Seattle with James Marsh, who was the restaurant’s wine director. 

So back to that whole “it’s not a wine bar” thing. Both Jim and Brandon Marsh are sommeliers and UW grads; Brandon stayed in Seattle and has been working at Olivar; Jim recently returned from New York. They’re planning a wine list that will have 300 bottles (at least half that list will be bottles less than $60, says James; “it won’t just be a bunch of trophy bottles”) and 30 glass pours. The Marshes are also planning to serve up plenty of quartinos (aka a smaller carafe that will hold the equivalent of a half-bottle. "It's a good way to try things that you might not order a full bottle of, it aerates the wines, and it makes those spendy bottles of Barolo a little more accessible," says Jim. Also—prosecco on tap! So whatever your terminology, this is going to be a splendid place for wine drinkers. 

If the permitting and construction gods are compliant, Triumph Bar will open in the latter half of July. The space will have about 60 seats, which the brothers hope will be occupied by a mix of neighborhood dwellers and Key Arena–goers. Eventually 25-ish patio seats should come into play as well. Here's an under-construction website for tracking further updates. 

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