Kerry Pauly

How it started: Owner Kerry Pauly’s exposure to the restaurant business started before he had his adult teeth.

How it’s going: Pauly, a Bellaire High School grad, is back in the area where he grew up with the second location of his popular neighborhood restaurant — KP’s Kitchen.

Located in the former Genesis Steakhouse space at 5427 Bissonnet St. on an edge of the Gulfton Area Management District, KP’s Kitchen opened a few weeks ago and has been serving up favorites from their first location — and much more.

Pauly opened KP’s Kitchen in the Spring Branch/Memorial area about four years ago, and it has garnered a large following for its comfort food such as the house specialty KP Burger, 12-hour baby back ribs and a gulf crab cake that will bring you back again and again.

The Bissonnet location, Pauly said, serves a similar demographic as the original location. And, he said, “No one wants to cross the Galleria traffic.”

Ain’t that the truth?

The KP’s Kitchen in the Gulfton District is a hop and a skip for Bellaire and Houston residents in the area, who — based on social media posts leading up to the restaurant’s opening — were clamoring for new places to eat and drink close to home.

Unlike the original location, the newest KP’s Kitchen has a full and beautifully adorned bar, which is the perfect spot for locals to meet up for date night or happy hour. It offers drink and food specials every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The restaurant is also family-friendly. On Tuesdays, kids eat free and adults can feast on $12 burgers. Wednesday nights are “community nights” with a prime rib special and some of the proceeds going to local charities or schools. Thursday night is steak night — ask about the “ribeye for two.”

Speaking of meals for two or more, KP’s menu features “shareable sides” like roasted Brussel sprouts and starters such as fried chicken tenders and spinach artichoke dip.

The Cobb salad can feed a group or, in our case, one famished husband. The grilled redfish was perfectly cooked in brown butter and served with broccoli. It came recommended by our waiter, as did the Brussels sprouts and artichoke dip.

Save room for dessert. The key lime tart adorned with blueberries and raspberries is probably also shareable but I wouldn’t know because I didn’t want to share any of it.

My dining companion was happy to enjoy her wine as dessert, finding her favorite vintage on the wine list and at a good price.

The response to the new location, Pauly said, has been “excellent.”

“We are so blessed,” he added.

Pauly, widely known to his friends and family as “KP,” inherited his passion for the food industry from his father, Fred Pauly. The elder Pauly owned and operated several well-recognized Houston food and beverage concepts in the 1980s and ‘90s, including Blue Ribbon Meat Packing Company, Metropol Club, Square Meal Cafe and Jill’s Blue Note, just to name a few.

KP’s experience in the hospitality industry expanded in 2006, working under Benjy Levit of Benjy’s and Local Foods.

Fast-forwarding to 2023: the first KP’s Kitchen was named one of the Top 100 Places to Eat in Texas by Yelp at #85.

We can’t wait to see where KP’s Kitchen #2 lands on the list.

KP’s Kitchen
5427 Bissonnet #400
Open Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Closed Mondays

— by Dorothy Puch Lillig