Politics and Busboys and Prose and Poets coming to Takoma

Architectural drawing from Takoma Central website.

The Politics and Prose bookstore will manage book sales at Busboys and Poets cafe locations around the Washington DC area, including the one under construction in Takoma, DC.

Both institutions have a record of hosting events and providing community space. The independently-owned bookstore at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, near the intersection of Nebraska Ave., has a full schedule of author talks, book discussions, classes, field trips, and children’s events.

Busboys and Poets is an independently-owned chain of 4 cafe/restaurant/bar/meeting-places, with two more set to open within a few months. Each location offers community meeting space to hold cultural and political events. Each includes book sales.

One of the upcoming Busboys and Poets locations is in Takoma Central, the mixed-use building currently under construction at the corner of Carroll and Maple Avenues, NW. It will open in January and will include a book section managed by Politics and Prose..

“Both enterprises share a deep commitment to building community, providing quality customer service, and promoting public discussion of ideas, cultural issues, and current events,” said the Politics and Prose announcement.


The bookstore credits Busboys and Poets owner Anas “Andy” Shallal with suggesting the partnership. “Over the years Andy has become known as a consummate social entrepreneur, a passionate advocate for causes of peace, justice, and tolerance, and a tireless and creative force on behalf of cultural and civic engagement,” said the announcement.

As part of the joint arrangement, offerings will include book signings, author talks, literary workshops, children’s programming and other events, the bookstore said. Busboys and Poets locations have large private rooms with stages and audio,visual, live streaming, and webcasting equipment.

Busboys and Poets owner Shallal is quoted in an Aug. 7, 2014 Gazette article saying that the previous plan to include a farmers market at the Takoma, DC location did not work out.

The Takoma Park, MD and Takoma, DC area has been without a bookstore since the Takoma Books used-book store in Takoma Old Town closed in 2005.  The much-loved Chuck and Dave’s bookstore, in the Carroll Avenue storefront now occupied by Ace Hardware, closed in the 1990s. Chain book store Borders Silver Spring branch was credited with driving Chuck and Dave’s out of business, but Borders itself went bankrupt in 2011.