Andy Shallal on How His Anacostia Busboys and Poets Will Engage Its Neighbors
Art Business

Andy Shallal on How His Anacostia Busboys and Poets Will Engage Its Neighbors

Photo of Andy Shallal by Darrow Montgomery Five years after owner Andy Shallal announced that Busboys and Poets would be expanding east of the Anacostia River, he will be hosting 500 people, including Mayor Muriel Bowser , at his newest outpost in Historic Anacostia Wednesday evening. The restaurant opens to the public March 7. While continually navigating a terrain of skepticism around his art and social justice-themed restaurant chain, Shallal says he’s committed to bringing quality food and coffee, hospitality industry jobs, and culturally-conscious programming to a side of town that he calls “spiritual and special.” “There’s a sense about Anacostia that really resonates with folks—even people who don’t live around here,” Shallal told City Paper at the restaurant on Monday. “They understand the challenges that this community has had and they also understand the love and the beauty that comes out of this community.” The restaurant located at 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE was still a construction zone Monday afternoon, but you could see a sketch of Frederick Douglass watching over a counter scattered with construction materials. Busboys and Poets’ art curator Carol Rhodes Dyson greets artists who stream in carrying large-scale paintings. She says 90 […]

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