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


Climate Action Coffee

Apr 1, 2020 8:00 am

Climate Action Coffee

In House Series | Takoma

Climate Action Coffee

Climate Action Coffee

Apr 1, 2020 8:00 am

In House Series | Takoma

Rise, Rhyme & Read Online with Culture Queen

Apr 1, 2020 6:00 pm

Rise, Rhyme & Read Online with Culture Queen

In House Series | 14th & V

Rise, Rhyme & Read Online with Culture Queen

Rise, Rhyme & Read Online with Culture Queen

Apr 1, 2020 6:00 pm

In House Series | 14th & V

Busboys On Live: Open Mic and Poetry Slam on IG Live

Apr 1, 2020 8:00 pm

Busboys On Live: Open Mic and Poetry Slam on IG…

In House Series |

Busboys On Live: Open Mic and Poetry Slam on IG Live

Busboys On Live: Open Mic and Poetry Slam on IG…

Apr 1, 2020 8:00 pm

In House Series |

Wednesday Night Open Mic Hosted by Anthony Oakes

Apr 1, 2020 9:00 pm

Wednesday Night Open Mic Hosted by Anthony Oakes

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | 450K

Wednesday Night Open Mic Hosted by Anthony Oakes

Wednesday Night Open Mic Hosted by Anthony Oakes

Apr 1, 2020 9:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | 450K