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 nine 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


Dr. Frank Smith's 80th Birthday!

Oct 1, 2022 2:00 pm

Dr. Frank Smith's 80th Birthday!

Private Event | Brookland

Dr. Frank Smith's 80th Birthday!

Dr. Frank Smith's 80th Birthday!

Oct 1, 2022 2:00 pm

Private Event | Brookland

Wendy Shaia Presents

Oct 1, 2022 4:00 pm

Wendy Shaia Presents "The Black Cell"

Author/Book Event | Baltimore

Wendy Shaia Presents

Wendy Shaia Presents "The Black Cell"

Oct 1, 2022 4:00 pm

Author/Book Event | Baltimore

Karaoke Night Hosted by Dwayne B

Oct 1, 2022 7:00 pm

Karaoke Night Hosted by Dwayne B

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Anacostia

Karaoke Night Hosted by Dwayne B

Karaoke Night Hosted by Dwayne B

Oct 1, 2022 7:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Anacostia

Busboys and Poets Books Presents The Thread Collectors

Oct 2, 2022 5:00 pm

Busboys and Poets Books Presents The Thread…

Author/Book Event | 450K

Busboys and Poets Books Presents The Thread Collectors

Busboys and Poets Books Presents The Thread…

Oct 2, 2022 5:00 pm

Author/Book Event | 450K