Grant Shprintz '12
Beatnik Bar & Restaurant
When a Baltimore-area psychiatric hospital offered Grant Shprintz ’12 a full-time job a few months after his graduation, the former psychology major surprised himself by turning it down. At the time, he was working as a barista at Baltimore’s Bohemian Coffee House and applying to graduate schools.
For now, Shprintz has deferred graduate studies in psychology, opting instead to study the inner workings of the restaurant business as the co-owner of the Beatnik Bar & Restaurant in Baltimore, along with business partner Steven Carson. (And he also recorded a hip-hop album.)
“I found out I’m good at business,” he said. “I would be equally as confident and capable working for a nonprofit as I am starting my own business.”
The Beatnik opened in July 2013 on Maryland Avenue and 21st Street in downtown Baltimore. Its menu blends exotic cuisine, such as oxtail curry served with rice and red shenchoy, with locally grown or raised fare such as jalapeño cocktails and chicken feet. Standards like pork belly tacos and the restaurant’s own ice cream are also available for less-adventurous diners.
“We want to give customers better quality food and drinks than what they’d get anywhere else and provide a situation that feels personal. You could be waiting for your drink and take part in a community conversation,” Shprintz said.
The warm reception and the bar’s distinctive fare and drinks have earned it a steadily growing following. Within a month of the restaurant’s opening, public radio station WYPR, The Baltimore Sun, What Weekly, and the Baltimore City Paper had given the restaurant positive reviews.
“It would’ve been really safe for me to have taken a job in a psychiatric ward,” Shprintz said, adding after a pause, “I don’t think your early 20s should be about safety.”
Although graduate school may eventually be in Shprintz’s future, he knows he can apply himself in nearly any field.
“Goucher taught me communication skills, how to think from different perspectives, and how to think critically. It didn’t prep me for a career: It prepped me as a human being.”