In a teaming of two great Washington community institutions, we’re pleased to announce that Politics and Prose will soon begin managing book sales at most restaurants in DC, Maryland and Virginia. This innovative business arrangement will unite P&P’s bookselling skills with Busboys and Poet’s talent at operating multi-use, food-and-event gathering spaces. Both enterprises share a deep commitment to building community, providing quality customer service, and promoting the public discussion of ideas, cultural issues, and current events.
The new business relationship will start with the opening of a Busboys and Poets in Brookland in December and extend to the launch of a Busboys and Poets in Takoma Park in January. P&P will operate the book sections in each of these locations. Later in 2015, P&P will assume responsibility for book operations already in existence at the Busboys and Poets restaurants in Hyattsville, Shirlington, and downtown Washington at 5th and K. The book operation at the Busboys and Poets at 14th and V in Washington will remain managed by Teaching for Change.
“We’re excited to join forces with Andy Shallal and his great Busboys and Poets organization, and to bring P&P’s experience in bookselling to other neighborhoods in the Washington area,” said Bradley Graham, who owns the bookstore with his wife Lissa Muscatine. “Andy’s restaurants have been devoted to more than just selling food. They’re places for dialogue, for bringing people together, for celebrating the cultural diversity of our community. We see great synergy in this new initiative and believe that working with Busboys will enable P&P to make books and authors more available across the metro region.”
As part of the joint arrangement, P&P will not only handle book sales at the Busboys and Poets locations but also host author talks, literary classes, and children’s programs. All of the Busboys restaurants have large, separate rooms available for special events and equipped with raised platforms, stage lighting, and sound systems.
“Politics and Prose epitomizes the greatness and reach of independent bookstores and we are thrilled that they will carry on our tradition of offering multicultural books that represent the diversity of Washington,” said Andy Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets.
Politics and Prose has been serving the Washington area for 30 years. Its store on Connecticut Avenue in northwest DC features a wide selection of books, CDs, DVDs, and gift items, a celebrated children and teens department, and an extensive line-up of author appearances. It also offers literary classes, organizes trips to places near and far, and houses a book-printing machine for self-publishing. Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade, P&P was sold three years ago to Graham and Muscatine.
Shallal has long been a leading social entrepreneur in Washington and a respected voice in bridging community divides. He opened the first in 2005 as part restaurant, part agent for social change, and all Busboys and Poet’s locations today operate as a community gathering space. Busboys and Poet’s tribal statement describes the restaurants as places “where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted” and as spaces “for art, culture, and politics to intentionally collide.”