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It’s Official: Austin Chef Paul Qui Is Opening A Restaurant In Houston

Aqui will serve up wood-grilled meats on Westheimer

Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series Visits Austin With Chef Paul Qui Benefitting Urban Roots
Chef Paul Qui
Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Jack Daniel's Single Barrel

Earlier this week, a post from Paul Qui on Instagram started a gossip storm in the Houston restaurant world. Qui mysteriously ‘grammed a rendering of a space at 520 Westheimer, and now it’s confirmed that the Austin-based chef is headed to Clutch City.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Qui will open an upscale Asian eatery called Aqui (get it?) in the building at 520 Westheimer. The restaurant will focus on “wood and wok cooking,” including meats grilled on a ripping hot Josper oven, along with a raw bar and menu of cocktails. According to Eater Austin, the restaurant is being designed by A Parallel Architecture, and will feature a similar aesthetic as Kuneho, Qui’s flagship restaurant in Austin.

The restaurant is set to open its doors in “spring or early summer,” which is right around the same time that Qui will head to court to face a 2016 assault charge for allegedly hitting his girlfriend. Qui, who denies that he committed the assault, later checked himself into a “medical treatment facility.”

It’s going to be a busy next few months for Qui. Today, Eater Austin reports that he is also facing a lawsuit from a vendor that accuses the chef of skipping out on a $24,000 bill. Hopefully he’ll be able to stay out of court long enough to get Aqui open before the Houston summer sets in.

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