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


Black History Month Closing Celebration

Feb 27, 2020 5:00 pm

Black History Month Closing Celebration

Performance | 14th & V

Black History Month Closing Celebration

Black History Month Closing Celebration

Feb 27, 2020 5:00 pm

Performance | 14th & V

Rhymez and Rhythmz Open Mic Night

Feb 27, 2020 8:00 pm

Rhymez and Rhythmz Open Mic Night

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | 14th & V

Rhymez and Rhythmz Open Mic Night

Rhymez and Rhythmz Open Mic Night

Feb 27, 2020 8:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | 14th & V

Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by E-Baby 2.27.20

Feb 27, 2020 9:00 pm

Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by E-Baby 2.27.20

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Hyattsville

Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by E-Baby 2.27.20

Thursday Night Open Mic hosted by E-Baby 2.27.20

Feb 27, 2020 9:00 pm

Poetry Reading/Open Mic | Hyattsville

Black Lives Matters in Schools

Feb 28, 2020 5:00 pm

Black Lives Matters in Schools

Private Event | Anacostia

Black Lives Matters in Schools

Black Lives Matters in Schools

Feb 28, 2020 5:00 pm

Private Event | Anacostia