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


MY BROTHER, MY LAND | A Busboys and Poets Books Presentation

Feb 29, 2024 6:00 pm

MY BROTHER, MY LAND | A Busboys and Poets Books…

Author/Book Event | 450K

MY BROTHER, MY LAND | A Busboys and Poets Books Presentation

MY BROTHER, MY LAND | A Busboys and Poets Books…

Feb 29, 2024 6:00 pm

Author/Book Event | 450K

Thursday Night Open Mic by Lady Brion

Feb 29, 2024 8:00 pm

Thursday Night Open Mic by Lady Brion

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Columbia

Thursday Night Open Mic by Lady Brion

Thursday Night Open Mic by Lady Brion

Feb 29, 2024 8:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Columbia

5th Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by DJ Tao

Feb 29, 2024 8:00 pm

5th Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by DJ Tao

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Hyattsville

5th Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by DJ Tao

5th Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by DJ Tao

Feb 29, 2024 8:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Hyattsville

Silver Chips: Magazine Launch Party and Panel

Mar 1, 2024 7:00 pm

Silver Chips: Magazine Launch Party and Panel

Discussion | Takoma

Silver Chips: Magazine Launch Party and Panel

Silver Chips: Magazine Launch Party and Panel

Mar 1, 2024 7:00 pm

Discussion | Takoma