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New restaurant, In Bloom, replacing Liv2Eat in Federal Hill

The owners of Liv2Eat in Federal Hill are teaming up with another culinary couple to open a new restaurant in the Light Street space.

After five years, husband and wife Kevin Perry and Cecilia Benalcazar, who own Liv2Eat, are partnering with Cyrus and Angela Keefer to open In Bloom.

Cyrus Keefer and Perry will run the kitchen together, while Angela Keefer and Benalcazar will handle the business side of the restaurant.

“There’s not many places where the chef is cooking your dinner,” said Cyrus Keefer, who has worked at local restaurants including Alewife, Birroteca and Fork & Wrench. “It’s gonna be Kevin and I every day that we’re open, that’s what you’re getting.”

Perry and Cyrus Keefer worked together years ago at Sotto Sopra, Keefer said. They got back in touch recently when Perry was searching for a sous chef. Keefer told him he didn’t know anyone who would be a good fit, but their conversation turned to partnering together in the kitchen and In Bloom was born.

Liv2Eat will close for two weeks of minor renovations before reopening Aug. 30 under the new name.

When In Bloom opens, it won’t offer one set style of cuisine. Small plates and appetizers will run from about $6 to $14, with entrees in the mid-$20s.

Keefer said the small plates will be more creative, while the entrees will be more simple: grilled or pan-fried meats seasoned with lemon, olive oil, sea salt and homemade condiments, “like you’re going to someone’s house.”

“That way we can be ultra-creative with the small plates and not scare people off,” Keefer said.

In Bloom will also offer french bread pizzas, a pasta program and several street food dishes.

“We have a big love for Italian influence but we also don’t want to shut down the option to do some Asian things and Mexican things, just fusion things,” Keefer said. ”We don’t want to be typecast as this or that.”

In Bloom will keep a few Liv2Eat favorites on the menu, such as the risotto fritters and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.

Keefer said he doesn’t expect tensions to flare between the two chefs as they cook together.

“A lot of of other people are like, ‘Those guys are gonna kill each other,’” he said. “There’s absolutely no ego. … It’s not my show or his show.”

Liv2Eat will host a farewell celebration Friday and Saturday nights with a buffet on its patio. The buffet is $25 per person, with $5 drinks.

In Bloom will open for dinner at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and offer brunch on Sundays. The restaurant will be closed on Mondays.

smeehan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahvmeehan

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