Since pulling the plug on his namesake restaurant, chef Paul Qui has revealed little about its replacement, Kuneho. But new renderings released this week provide a sneak peek at the restaurant space's transformation.
With Kuneho, Qui will go back to his roots, specializing in sushi and Japanese dishes (Qui trained under Uchi's Tyson Cole and was executive chef at Uchiko).
"When imagining Kuneho, our focus from the menu to the design was the creation of perfect bites and a highly social experience where the food takes center stage," says the Top Chef and James Beard winner in a release. "With our sushi bar, main dining room, outdoor patio, and cocktail bar, we’re able to be adaptable and offer a space to hang out and enjoy a great meal for any occasion."
Qui and his team are working with local firm A Parallel Architecture to create four separate but cohesive spaces in the restaurant: dining area; sushi bar; outdoor patio; and cocktail lounge, named The Borough. In addition to dinner service, the space will be available for private parties and events.
Originally slated to open in November, Kuneho's opening has been pushed to late 2016. Understandable, as the past year has been a busy and tumultuous one for Qui.
The local celebrity chef opened two new concepts in Austin — the well-received Otoko and a brick-and-mortar version of Thai-Khun — in addition to Pao in Miami. However, he garnered national media attention when he was arrested on assault charges in March.
Qui opened up to the Austin American-Statesman about his struggle with drugs and alcohol, and following a stint in rehab, he is looking to refocus his efforts as a chef and dedicate more time to his team.