Tria Proprietor Bringing a Wine Bar to University City

Owner Jon Myerow talks about his new value-focused project, Biba

Fans of beer, wine and cheese spot Tria, which has two branches in Rittenhouse and Wash West, were delighted when the news broke earlier this year that owner Jon Myerow had secured a third location. It turns out the new spot, on the first floor of the Left Bank Building in University City, isn’t going to be a Tria after all. It’s going to be “Tria’s spunky little cousin,” according to Myerow, a wine-centric bar called Biba. We caught up with the notoriously terse Myerow to see if we could squeeze any more details about the project, which he expects to have open in August, out of him. And while he remained true to his tight-lipped nature, he did give us a few tantalizing tidbits.

Biba, which takes its name from the bibere, the Latin word for “to drink” (and not from the famed English clothing store of the ’60s, whose logo is pictured) will offer 26 wines by the glass, selected by Tria sommelier Michael McCaulley; the list will focus on wines made by “passionate,” rather than mainstream, producers. And, Myerow, says, he plans to keep the wines under the $10 mark. There will also be ten craft beers, including a locally produced cask ale on rotation. In keeping with Tria tradition, there will be no hard liquor.

Myerow says the interior is much smaller than Tria — just 34 seats inside at communal tables, bar rails and the bar, with an additional 12 seats on an outdoor deck that they will build themselves.

For food, Myerow plans to serve a concise menu of the three C’s: cheeses, charcuterie (he says he’ll have an Italian slicer to “hand-slice” the meats) and chocolates, including a rotating selection of fudges, chocolates and caramels.

While Biba and Tria do share some similarities — a focus on fermented items and artisanal producers of those products —Myerow says they differ in important ways. Biba is more wine-focused, more pared-down in scope and (the best news of all) will have a slightly lower price point than Tria.

Hours will be noon midnight, Sunday through Thursday and noon to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Biba, Left Bank, 3131 Walnut Street
, 1137 Spruce Street and 123 South 18th Street