Jeff Keeney, the former chef at Tark's Grill who previously owned a Federal Hill bar, is back in South Baltimore with a new concept.
Keeney and Giuseppe Greco are opening At Light's End, a restaurant with a menu that will rotate daily, on the first floor of the 2 East Wells apartment building.
Keeney said he'd been looking for a restaurant for three or four years before finding the open retail space in the apartment complex. He was originally eyeing a 220-seat restaurant in Towson before the opportunity arose for him to move into 2 East Wells.
Keeney recently left his post as executive chef of Tark's Grill in Timonium (Brendan McKinney replaced him), and he previously owned Crazy Lil's in Federal Hill. That space at 27 E. Cross St. has since transformed to the Boiler Room bar and arcade, after a brief stint as the Mediterranean tapas restaurant Corfu.
The menu at Keeney's new restaurant will change daily and feature about 15 items.
"It’s not a place to go to get burgers or crab dip or wings — there’s enough of that in this area,” Keeney said, noting there will be no signature menu. "I just depends on when you come in.”
Keeney hopes to introduce diners to a variety of flavors, as well as nontraditional cuts of meat. He plans to braise a lot of meats and stay away from more popular cuts. If you're looking for filet mignon or prime rib on the menu, you won't find it no matter what day you dine there — Keeney said he hates prime rib.
Otherwise, look for American, Asian and Latin influences on the menu.
"I just want to showcase a different variety of food,” Keeney said.
He said he'll keep the prices affordable — between $12 and $18 for most dishes, with a few priced higher around $21.
The restaurant will seat at least 127 guests (he's hoping to squeeze in two more seats).
"A lot of that seating is around the kitchen," Keeney said, noting he'll probably be the one serving guests if they sit around the kitchen.
The open kitchen will be located on the right side of the restaurant, with a bar on the left, and tables in between.
Keeney is aiming for an Aug. 15 opening, but construction on the space hasn't started yet, so there's a chance it will open later.