BY REBECCA GALLERY PHOTOS • MEI MEI CHANG
The air was filled with snow and excitement on Valentines Day with the grand opening of the Busboys and Poets Takoma DC location at the corner of 235 Carroll St, NW. The celebration brought out hundreds of eager guests willing to brave the snow storm to get the first glimpse of the latest hotspot to hit Takoma.
With VIP guests including DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Takoma Park Mayor Bruce Williams and President of The Takoma Foundation Scott Ward this was an event not to be missed with proceeds benefiting The Takoma Foundation. Takoma resident Ronnie Biemans joined the party and noted that the addition of the sixth Busboys and Poets “takes on the identity of the Takoma Park community”.
Washington, DC mayor Muriel Bowser speaks as restaurant owner Andy Shallal looks on. Photo by Mei Mei Chang.
A top-notch veteran staff, outfitted sharply in black and red attire, was all hands on deck; efficiently helping the crowded house offering free champagne and food samplings. A live Jazz performance by Takoma Park jazz musician Bruce Krohmer and his group BK3+1 brought the crowd together for great entertainment and even a little dancing. The evening highlights were the live reading of The LOVE Poem by author Kezia Snipe (aka Kezia The Poet, of Fighting Cancer With Poetry, Inc.) and with heartfelt introduction speeches by restaurant owner Andy Shallal and Mayor Muriel Bowser.
What’s in store
Since it was the inaugural event, everyone had future visits in mind. There will be plenty of food, drink, events and other offerings to bring them back for more.
Busboys and Poets in-house coffee shop will surely draw in guests with the delicious aromas of espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. DC based independent company Compass Coffee owned by Harrison Suarez and Michael Haft will bring in their locally roasted beans to Takoma. “We’re really excited to get this opportunity to show our coffee in Takoma in such a big way. Takoma just has this vibrancy to it — such a rich history of culture and diversity. You’ve just got such an eclectic mix of people who make Takoma their home. It has this worldly yet small-town feel.” said Haft. The two coffee’s that will be offered initially are Emblem Espresso and Waypoint Blend.
The fundraiser opening had a Valentines Day theme. Photo by Mei Mei Chang.
The Busboys expansive menu will be similar to previous locations; offering many organic,vegetarian and vegan options to accommodate the vast variety of customers that grace Busboys tables. The drink menu at this new location is an impressive spread of beers and unique cocktails with Takoma infused names such as Fire on Carroll St., Rooster and Ward 4. Fans of Busboys will still find the two staple drinks DC Tap Water and Langston Cooler on the menu, however all the other cocktails are brand new creations.
On display throughout the establishment for the opening was artwork by washington DC based Chilean artist Joan Belmar. This artwork will be on display and for sale from now until April 30th, presented by the Charles Kraus/Reporting Fine Art gallery. One of the permanent art fixtures in the restaurant is a beautiful Cuban themed mural displaying works from Afro-cuban poet Nicolás Guillén. Art and artists have a lot of influence in the Busboys and Poets atmosphere.
Artwork on display at Busboys and Poets. Photo by Mei Mei Chang.
The 6,0500 square foot space that Busboys and Poets will now call home rests on the ground floor of Takoma’s latest retail and apartment building developed by Level2 Development. David Franco from Level2 Development noted that the “fascinating and interesting DNA of Busboys and Poets and Takoma Park” joined together to make this the ideal location for the new location.
Upcoming events at Busboys will include the hosting of Megan McArdle (Bloomberg View columnist, formerly with Newsweek/Daily Beast) for the paperback release of The Upside of Down on March 4th, New American Foundation fellow Levi Tillemann will visit on March 10th, former Washington Post reporter Eugene L. Meyer presenting his classic visual history of the bay titled Chesapeake Country on March 16th, Tim Johnston, writer of bestseller Descent on March 23rd and a visit from The Rosie Project on March 31st. You can always look for Takoma events by filtering by location on Busboys and Poets calendar at http://www.politics-prose.com/event.