Busboys and Poets prepares to open its largest location yet in downtown Columbia

From authors and poets to foodies and speakers, Busboys and Poets has become a place of gathering for people from all across the D.C. area, and they plan to bring the same sense of community to Columbia, Maryland, with a location in the downtown Merriweather District.

Andy Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets, said the Columbia location will be all about adding to the multicultural landscape: “It has that sort of ethos about it, and right from the get-go, it was the right space for us.”

With an ice-skating rink in the winter, a multi-level deck and 10,700 square feet of interior space, it will be their biggest location yet. It will also serve as a meeting space and the home to Columbia’s inaugural book festival, Books in Bloom.

For the grand opening, renowned poet, activist and author Nikki Giovanni will join Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of The 1619 Project, for a welcoming event.

Shallal said it’s all about transforming with the community and encouraging dialogue. “We will be reaching out to many folks in the community to try and figure out what it is they want, and continue to pivot and transform.”

The new location is expected to open in October.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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