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


STEMsgiving in Anacostia

Dec 1, 2022 5:00 pm

STEMsgiving in Anacostia

Private Event | Anacostia

STEMsgiving in Anacostia

STEMsgiving in Anacostia

Dec 1, 2022 5:00 pm

Private Event | Anacostia

Private Event: Professional meeting of non profit

Dec 1, 2022 5:30 pm

Private Event: Professional meeting of non profit

Private Event | Takoma

Private Event: Professional meeting of non profit

Private Event: Professional meeting of non profit

Dec 1, 2022 5:30 pm

Private Event | Takoma

Progressive Foreign Policy Happy Hour

Dec 1, 2022 6:00 pm

Progressive Foreign Policy Happy Hour

Private Event | 450K

Progressive Foreign Policy Happy Hour

Progressive Foreign Policy Happy Hour

Dec 1, 2022 6:00 pm

Private Event | 450K

Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by DJ Tao

Dec 1, 2022 8:00 pm

Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by DJ Tao

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Hyattsville

Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by DJ Tao

Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by DJ Tao

Dec 1, 2022 8:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Hyattsville