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


Busboys and Poets Books Presents THE 1619 PROJECT with Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nov 28, 2021 6:00 pm

Busboys and Poets Books Presents THE 1619 PROJECT…

Author/Book Event | 14th & V

Busboys and Poets Books Presents THE 1619 PROJECT with Nikole Hannah-Jones

Busboys and Poets Books Presents THE 1619 PROJECT…

Nov 28, 2021 6:00 pm

Author/Book Event | 14th & V

5th Mondays Open Mic Night | Shirlington, VA | Four on the 5th: All Host

Nov 29, 2021 8:00 pm

5th Mondays Open Mic Night | Shirlington, VA |…

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Shirlington

5th Mondays Open Mic Night | Shirlington, VA | Four on the 5th: All Host

5th Mondays Open Mic Night | Shirlington, VA |…

Nov 29, 2021 8:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Shirlington

5th Tuesdays Open Mic | 14th and V | Hosted by: Glo Shines

Nov 30, 2021 8:00 pm

5th Tuesdays Open Mic | 14th and V | Hosted by:…

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | 14th & V

5th Tuesdays Open Mic | 14th and V | Hosted by: Glo Shines

5th Tuesdays Open Mic | 14th and V | Hosted by:…

Nov 30, 2021 8:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | 14th & V

Open Mic |  Columbia, MD: Hosted by Tatiana Figueroa

Nov 30, 2021 8:00 pm

Open Mic | Columbia, MD: Hosted by Tatiana…

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Columbia

Open Mic |  Columbia, MD: Hosted by Tatiana Figueroa

Open Mic | Columbia, MD: Hosted by Tatiana…

Nov 30, 2021 8:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Columbia