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 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


The Salon:

Jun 12, 2021 6:30 pm

The Salon: "America wasn't a democracy until…

Discussion | 14th & V

The Salon:

The Salon: "America wasn't a democracy until…

Jun 12, 2021 6:30 pm

Discussion | 14th & V

#HomeRun4Julian :  US Tour to Demand Julian Assange’s Freedom

Jun 13, 2021 5:00 pm

#HomeRun4Julian : US Tour to Demand Julian…

Discussion | 14th & V

#HomeRun4Julian :  US Tour to Demand Julian Assange’s Freedom

#HomeRun4Julian : US Tour to Demand Julian…

Jun 13, 2021 5:00 pm

Discussion | 14th & V

Busboys and Poets Books Presents IN THE HEIGHTS with Lin-Manuel Miranda

Jun 15, 2021 8:00 pm

Busboys and Poets Books Presents IN THE HEIGHTS…

Author/Book Event |

Busboys and Poets Books Presents IN THE HEIGHTS with Lin-Manuel Miranda

Busboys and Poets Books Presents IN THE HEIGHTS…

Jun 15, 2021 8:00 pm

Author/Book Event |

Busboys and Poets Books Presents Mala & the Mask of Gold with Jaime Martin Ko Atilano

Jun 25, 2021 6:00 pm

Busboys and Poets Books Presents Mala & the Mask…

Author/Book Event |

Busboys and Poets Books Presents Mala & the Mask of Gold with Jaime Martin Ko Atilano

Busboys and Poets Books Presents Mala & the Mask…

Jun 25, 2021 6:00 pm

Author/Book Event |