Rumors have long circulated that Austin-based chef Paul Qui would open a Houston restaurant, but nothing was confirmed until yesterday, Sunday, February 12. Qui posted an architectural rendering on his personal Instagram account that closely matched the construction at 520 Westheimer Rd. He posted, “it's almost time...”
According to CultureMap Houston, speculation that the chef had his eye on Houston started last March when real estate blog Swamplot noticed that the architects for the Westheimer Road project were the same ones who developed Qui’s Austin restaurant.
Qui shut down his namesake restaurant, Qui, following a well-publicized arrest on assault charges last March. After the arrest, he entered rehabilitation, and came back to his restaurants (Qui, East Side King, Thai Kun, Otoko, Pao) a month later. He recently reopened the Austin restaurant space as Kuneho.
The Houston-based, and yet unnamed, restaurant might be part of Qui trying to make a comeback and refocus his efforts after last year’s assault charges, which he admitted affected his restaurants financially.
• Paul Qui [Instagram]
• Acclaimed Austin Chef Teases New Houston Restaurant Plans [CultureMap]
• Swamplot [Official]
• Chef Paul Qui Arrested on Assault Charges [EATX]
• Say Goodbye to Qui and Hello to Kuneho [EATX]