Power Source: Primary Player

has created a unique environment for intellectual activity throughout Washington, D.C.


"Andy Shallal at the new Busboys and Poets in Brookland near Catholic University with school teachers Stacie Lampkins, Apryle Johnson, and Elizabeth Baird Thompson. (Photo by Adoria Doucette)

Andy Shallal at the new in Brookland near Catholic University with teachers Stacie Lampkins, Apryle Johnson, and Elizabeth Baird Thompson. (Photo by Adoria Doucette)

The city of Washington, D.C. is in the midst of a rapid cultural transformation that is enriching the entire landscape. One of the primary players in this evolution is Andy Shallal, owner of Busboys and Poets.

Born in Iraq, Shallal’s father was a prominent member of the Arab League. After moving to Washington and attending Catholic University, Shallal embarked on becoming one of the most progressive and culturally influential restaurateurs in the area. His landmark Busboys and Poets restaurants are distinctive for the atmosphere they radiate, which have implications beyond their kitchens and dining rooms. Each Busboys and Poets location features a bookstore with an array of culturally influential authors and poets, many of whom visit the locations for lectures and talks about critical issues. These locations also have theatres that showcase local and international talent, engaging the audience and the community at large into important conversations about current events.

Busboys and Poets has emerged as a hotbed of progressive intellectual activity, and each of the five locations throughout the area is always bustling with vibrant activity. With an innovative menu that sources fresh food from local farms along with a large vegan selection, patrons from all walks of life gather to enjoy the food and atmosphere, as large murals within the spaces highlight important poets and their contribution to the intellectual movements that have been prominent within the last century. The name Busboys and Poets is derived from Washington native Langston Hughes’ career as a busboy at the historic Wardman Park Hotel, prior to his career as a poet.

Power Source is proud to call Shallal a friend and we commend his accomplishments of fostering meaningful relationships and collaborations across our great city. At any given moment the restaurants are full of intellectuals, business people, local civic activists, teachers, politicians and prominent residents. Shallal has managed to bring people together, while also setting the highest standard of responsible corporate citizenship.


Power Source is an insider’s view of power networks and activities that contribute to the continued dominance of our nation’s ideals, institutions and individuals. Ms. Doucette has privately orchestrated projects for the world’s most influential individuals, celebrated personalities, and corporations. Based in Washington D.C., Ms. Doucette is a proud native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She can be reached at: adoria@thepowersourcedc.com

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