Chef Cyrus Keefer and his wife, Angela Keefer, have pulled out of their partnership at In Bloom after helping the owners rebrand the South Baltimore restaurant a few months ago.
Chef Kevin Perry and his wife, Cecilia Benalcazar, teamed up with the Keefers to open the restaurant in September. In Bloom replaced Liv2Eat, the restaurant that Benalcazar and Perry owned for five years before rebranding it. The restaurant at 1444 Light St. closed in late August for cosmetic updates before reemerging as In Bloom several weeks later.
Keefer said the team suffered a number of financial setbacks, including broken equipment, during its launch. As the costs started to mount, he and Angela decided to leave, he said. They weren’t in a position where they could operate the restaurant without taking a paycheck, Keefer said, but they wanted to see In Bloom succeed.
“Our decision was just a decision to keep them afloat,” Keefer said. “At the end of the day we weren’t going to sleep well at night knowing that we were going to sink someone else’s ship.”
As for what’s next for Keefer, he said he does not plan to pursue restaurant ownership, and quipped that he was “going into hiding.” Keefer has bounced around a number of kitchens in Baltimore, including posts at Alewife, For & Wrench, 13.5% Wine Bar and Birroteca.