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


CANCELED-Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by 2Deep the Poetess 4.9.20

Apr 9, 2020 9:00 pm

CANCELED-Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by 2Deep…

In House Series | Hyattsville

CANCELED-Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by 2Deep the Poetess 4.9.20

CANCELED-Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by 2Deep…

Apr 9, 2020 9:00 pm

In House Series | Hyattsville

POETRY & PASTIES: A Burlesque and Spokenword Brunch Open Mic 11.09.19

Apr 11, 2020 1:00 pm

POETRY & PASTIES: A Burlesque and Spokenword…

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Anacostia

POETRY & PASTIES: A Burlesque and Spokenword Brunch Open Mic 11.09.19

POETRY & PASTIES: A Burlesque and Spokenword…

Apr 11, 2020 1:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Anacostia

Jazz & Verse Open Mic - 2020

Apr 12, 2020 5:00 pm

Jazz & Verse Open Mic - 2020

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Takoma

Jazz & Verse Open Mic - 2020

Jazz & Verse Open Mic - 2020

Apr 12, 2020 5:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Takoma

CANCELED-Monday Night Open Mic Hosted by Glo Shines 4.13.20

Apr 13, 2020 9:00 pm

CANCELED-Monday Night Open Mic Hosted by Glo…

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Brookland

CANCELED-Monday Night Open Mic Hosted by Glo Shines 4.13.20

CANCELED-Monday Night Open Mic Hosted by Glo…

Apr 13, 2020 9:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Brookland