Our Story

Andy Shallal

Busboys and Poets is a community gathering place. First established in 2005, Busboys and Poets was founded by owner Andy Shallal, an artist, activist and restaurateur. After opening the flagship location at 14th and V Streets, NW, the neighboring residents and progressive community embraced Busboys, particularly activists opposed to the Iraq War. Busboys and Poets is now located in seven distinctive neighborhoods in the Washington Metropolitan area and 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


DCRA in your Neighborhood

Jun 25, 2019 9:00 am

DCRA in your Neighborhood

Discussion | Anacostia

DCRA in your Neighborhood

DCRA in your Neighborhood

Jun 25, 2019 9:00 am

Discussion | Anacostia

Rise + Rhyme: MUSIC 2LITTLE EARS 6.25.19

Jun 25, 2019 9:30 am

Rise + Rhyme: MUSIC 2LITTLE EARS 6.25.19

In House Series | Shirlington

Rise + Rhyme: MUSIC 2LITTLE EARS 6.25.19

Rise + Rhyme: MUSIC 2LITTLE EARS 6.25.19

Jun 25, 2019 9:30 am

In House Series | Shirlington

Busboys Books Presents: Dr Christopher Metzler in conversation with April Ryan

Jun 25, 2019 6:00 pm

Busboys Books Presents: Dr Christopher Metzler in…

Author/Book Event | 14th & V

Busboys Books Presents: Dr Christopher Metzler in conversation with April Ryan

Busboys Books Presents: Dr Christopher Metzler in…

Jun 25, 2019 6:00 pm

Author/Book Event | 14th & V

Shoulder2Shoulder Presents: Our Muslim Neighbors: Achieving the American Dream - An Immigrant’s Memoir by Victor Begg

Jun 25, 2019 6:00 pm

Shoulder2Shoulder Presents: Our Muslim Neighbors:…

Private Event | 450K

Shoulder2Shoulder Presents: Our Muslim Neighbors: Achieving the American Dream - An Immigrant’s Memoir by Victor Begg

Shoulder2Shoulder Presents: Our Muslim Neighbors:…

Jun 25, 2019 6:00 pm

Private Event | 450K