Busboys and Poets is a community gathering place. First established in 2005, Busboys and Poets was created by owner Andy Shallal, an Iraqi-American artist, activist and restaurateur. After opening the flagship location at 14th and V Streets, NW, the neighboring residents and the progressive community embraced Busboys, especially activists opposed to the Iraq War. Busboys and Poets is now located in six distinctive neighborhoods in the Washington Metropolitan area and is a community resource 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.
Fun Fact: What's your favorite hobby?
Q: What's your favorite hobby?
Busboys and Poets could not survive without the vibrant support of community members that welcome us into their neighborhoods. We constantly work to sponsor and support programs and events that honor the communities that host our restaurants.
From our various discussion series to exhibiting the work of local artists, we recognize that Busboys and Poets only exist because of the patronage of our neighbors and guests. We believe that building community around shared beliefs and dialogue over food and drinks link people in ways that are meaningful and lasting.