Chef Paul Qui shuttered his namesake restaurant in the fall. Taking its place is a completely new spot from the chef, called Kuneho, renderings of which were released today.
The reinvention is a way of distancing Qui’s name from the restaurant after his highly-publicized arrest this spring. In March, he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend, and then spent some time in a treatment facility. Soon thereafter, Qui returned and the apology tour began.
With Kuneho, construction will transform building, found at the same address on East 6th Street, into a space that will look different to Qui regulars. The patio and dining room will remain, but there are plans for a dedicated sushi bar and the renamed small cocktail bar, The Borough (formerly called the Rabbit Hole). Details include open paneling, warm food, and chalkboard walls.
The changes also extend to the menu. It will focus on Japanese fare, offering sushi and what Qui refers to as “perfect bites.” Qui the restaurant was known, at one point, for serving three different menus centered on: the epic tasting room with 20 to 25 courses, a shorter dining room tasting menu with a completely vegetarian option, and the pulutan selection out on the patio. It got rid of the tasting menus this past spring.
While originally pegged to open this month, Kuneho, which is Tagalog for “rabbit,” (inspired by his popular dish Rabbit 7 ways) plans on debuting later this year. It’s currently looking for staff.
Qui is still involved with his other two restaurants, the food trucks and brick and mortar of East Side King and Thai Kun, and the omakase-only Otoko.
- Kuneho [Official]
- Kuneho [Instagram]
- Top Chef Winner Paul Qui to Close His Hit Restaurant Qui [EATX]
- Chef Paul Qui Arrested on Assault Charges [EATX]