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Paul Qui Teases Plans For A Second Houston Restaurant

Could he bring Austin’s East Side King to Space City?

East Side King on South Lamar in Austin
East Side King/Facebook

With one much-anticipated restaurant already in the works, Paul Qui teased that he could be open to bringing one of his most popular Austin restaurants to Houston.

In a tweet, Qui polled Houston-area followers as to whether or not an outpost of his East Side King, a spot known for its inventive takes on ramen and Japanese street food, would “work” in Chinatown, which is home to some of Houston’s finest (and longest-standing) Asian restaurants.

Scope out the tweet below:

Whether or not Qui’s “ESK,” or East Side King, is a good fit for Chinatown is an interesting question. At present, it has already attracted a variety of trendy new eateries, including much-lauded Los Angeles Sichuan restaurant Chengdu Taste, along with poke shops and Thai rolled ice cream purveyors. It’s also home to Jianyun Ye’s original Mala Sichuan Bistro, a Houston institution that earned plenty of renewed buzz earlier this year when Ye was nominated for a James Beard Award.

Qui is going to be a busy man over the next several months. In addition to opening Aqui, which is set to arrive at some point this summer, he’ll also appear in court in Austin on June 9 to face two charges related to the 2016 incident in which he was arrested for assault for allegedly hitting his girlfriend. Qui denies the allegations.

He’s also fending off a lawsuit from an Austin-based vendor who claims that Qui owes more than $24,000, plus interest, for ingredients delivered to his restaurants. That litigation is still pending.

Eater has reached out to Qui for more details on a possible East Side King expansion. Stay tuned for updates.

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