Our Story

Andy Shallal

Busboys and Poets is a restaurant, bar, bookstore and community gathering place. First established in 2005, Busboys and Poets was founded by owner Andy Shallal (@andyshallal), an artist, activist, and restaurateur. After opening the flagship location at 14th and V Streets, NW DC, the neighboring residents, and the progressive community embraced Busboys and Poets, particularly activists opposed to the Iraq War.  Busboys and Poets is now located in eight distinctive neighborhoods in the Washington D.C Metropolitan and Baltimore areas.   Busboys and Poets is a cultural hub for artists, activists, writers, thinkers, and dreamers.

Why the name?
The name Busboys and Poets refers to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in the 1920s, prior to gaining recognition as a poet.

Busboys and Poets is a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted... a place to take
a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul...
a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally
collide... we believe that by creating such a space we
can inspire social change and begin to transform our
community and the world.

Meet Our Tribe


Andy Shallal

ANDY SHALLAL / Founder/CEO

Fun Fact: What's your favorite hobby?

Q: What's your favorite hobby?
A: Painting

Community Involvement


Busboys and Poets invests in our local community and works closely to support like-minded events happening at Busboys and Poets and occasionally at other spaces. We believe that building community around shared beliefs and dialogue over food and drinks creates connections that are meaningful and lasting.

Upcoming Events


Laugh House Presents: TACARRA WILLIAMS

May 29, 2022 5:00 pm

Laugh House Presents: TACARRA WILLIAMS

Performance | Hyattsville

Laugh House Presents: TACARRA WILLIAMS

Laugh House Presents: TACARRA WILLIAMS

May 29, 2022 5:00 pm

Performance | Hyattsville

Busboys and Poets Books Presents Queer Book Club

May 29, 2022 6:00 pm

Busboys and Poets Books Presents Queer Book Club

Author/Book Event | Takoma

Busboys and Poets Books Presents Queer Book Club

Busboys and Poets Books Presents Queer Book Club

May 29, 2022 6:00 pm

Author/Book Event | Takoma

Monday Night Open Mic hosted by 4 on the 5th

May 30, 2022 8:00 pm

Monday Night Open Mic hosted by 4 on the 5th

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Shirlington

Monday Night Open Mic hosted by 4 on the 5th

Monday Night Open Mic hosted by 4 on the 5th

May 30, 2022 8:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Shirlington

Build the Future, Break the Blockade: Young Organizers Report Back from Cuba

May 31, 2022 6:00 pm

Build the Future, Break the Blockade: Young…

Discussion | 450K

Build the Future, Break the Blockade: Young Organizers Report Back from Cuba

Build the Future, Break the Blockade: Young…

May 31, 2022 6:00 pm

Discussion | 450K