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Posted: 11:51 a.m. Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Company sues 'Top Chef' winner Paul Qui's new restaurant 


Company sues chef Paul Qui’s new restaurant
Laura Skelding
Qui, chef Paul Qui’s restaurant, is set to open June 20.

By Gary Dinges

A highly anticipated Austin restaurant set to open its doors this month is being sued by a company that alleges it has yet to be paid for supplies it delivered.

Crawford Electric Supply Co. filed the lawsuit in Travis County district court, claiming it provided almost $20,000 worth of lamps, fixtures, conduit and other items for Qui, the latest restaurant from former “Top Chef” winner Paul Qui.

The restaurant, at 1600 E. Sixth St. in East Austin, is scheduled to open June 20.

A spokeswoman for Qui provided the American-Statesman with a written statement: “All issues relating to this matter are being handled by our legal counsel.

“Due to the sensitivity of the matter and out of respect to our general contractor, his subcontractors, and the other relationships between any and all parties involved, we are unable to comment any further.”

Qui’s lead contractor and a subcontractor that reportedly hired Crawford Electric Supply Co. are not named in the suit, court documents show.

Records indicate the electrical supplies were delivered to the restaurant by Crawford Electric Supply Co. in December, January and February.

In the court filing, Crawford Electric Supply Co. says that “all conditions precedent for full payment of said sum have occurred or been performed by plaintiff.”

The company says it mailed the building’s owner, the restaurant and the contractor requests for payment on Feb. 14 and May 6 and also filed a mechanic’s and materialman’s lien with the Travis County Clerk’s Office in May.

In addition to payment for the products and services Crawford Electric Supply Co. says it provided, the company is also asking to be reimbursed for attorneys’ fees, among other things.

Qui, who won the ninth season of the Bravo cable TV network’s “Top Chef” competition, has previously worked at the Uchi and Uchiko restaurants.

In a video posted on the restaurant’s website, quiaustin.com, Qui says he’s set out to create a dining experience unlike anything the city has seen before. The Asian-fusion menu is small, featuring fewer than a dozen dishes such as catfish, rabbit and rib-eye steak.

“I wanted to create something special for Austin,” he said. “There’s nothing like this in the world.”

Gary Dinges

About Gary Dinges

Gary Dinges covers bars/restaurants, movies, music, radio and TV -- plus a bunch of other fun stuff -- for the Austin American-Statesman.

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