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Scuttlebutt Confirmed: Busboys and Poets Coming to Takoma

by Prince Of Petworth — February 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm 12 Comments

Back in Dec. 2012 I shared some scuttlebutt that a Busboys and Poets would be coming to the new Takoma Central project at 235 Carroll Street, NW. Happy to report it’s been confirmed. The Post’s Jonathan O’Connell reports they’re shooting to open in Spring 2014. From a press release:

Federal Capital Partners (FCP) and Level 2 Development (Level 2) have signed fast-growing and highly popular Busboys and Poets to a 6,500 square foot lease at Takoma Central in the Takoma neighborhood of Northwest Washington, DC. The pioneering restaurant/bookstore/market concept will occupy a large portion of the 9,000 square foot retail ground floor of the $36 million, mixed-use development located at the corner of Carroll and Maple Streets. Takoma Central will feature 150 rental apartments adjacent to the Takoma Metrorail station and is just steps from the center of this eclectic, historic urban village. Busboys and Poets is cherished by its customers as a contemporary community center, where people gather to eat, work, browse through books and join in conversation. Takoma is considered to be one of Washington’s most diverse and popular “towns within a city” and Busboys and Poets is a perfect fit for this flourishing neighborhood.

David Franco, Managing Partner at Level 2, commented, “We are thrilled to bring Busboys and Poets to Takoma Central. Busboys’ personality is Takoma Central’s personality is Takoma DC’s personality, setting the stage for a hip Takoma celebrating both its old and new character. Takoma Central, with its commanding Busboys and Poets frontage and outdoor, multi-level terraced dining, will bridge the gap between the Takoma Metro Station and the historic Takoma downtown. Takoma will become the new “it” destination stop on Metro’s red line.”

Continues after the jump.

FCP Managing Partner, Lacy Rice, commented, “Busboys and Poets is a destination retailer, providing a cultural center in each of its four existing locations. Not only will they be welcomed by the neighborhood, but we believe their presence will be a catalyst to further revitalization of this very attractive corner of Washington, DC.”

First established in 2005, Busboys and Poets was created by owner Anas “Andy” Shallal, an artist, activist and restaurateur. After opening the flagship location at 14th and V Streets, neighboring residents embraced the restaurant as a community destination. Busboys and Poets is now located in four distinctive neighborhoods in the Washington Metropolitan area and will open at the Takoma Central location in late 2014, soon after building completion. The development of Takoma Central is reflective of the focus by both the community and the DC Office of Planning to bring increased reinvestment to the neighborhood. In January, restaurateur Jeff Black announced that he would be opening a new restaurant at nearby Laurel Avenue, illustrating the growing confidence in what has been an underserved market.

Takoma Central has been designed to respect and enhance the architectural history and spirit of the Takoma neighborhood, with a five-story Victorian-style warehouse design connected by a glass “hyphen” to a contemporary, four-story brick and stone Art Deco building. The project consists of two phases that are being built concurrently and joined together at the first floor. Busboys and Poets will occupy the long street front along Carroll Street and will continue around the corner to Maple Street. Tall windows and French doors will connect the interior to an outdoor dining terrace along the new, wide sidewalk.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. A lot coming to that area all at once!

  • Boom

    Great news…now if they can only do something about the Takoma Theatre, that would just be great

    • Takoma Resident

      This is great news. It’s so well suited to Takoma. We need a real bar and higher end restaurant. I’m sure the events will be packed.

      If a Trader Joe’s Express goes in next to it then that would just be outstanding. Personally, I would rather see TPSS move there.

      I hope we see some action on the WMATA land. Those parking lots don’t belong there. The whole area should be redesigned. They can turn that park into more of the town square that it should be. We will probably have to wait until the streetcar line is built, assuming it still goes to Takoma.

      As for the Takoma Theater…. please just turn it into something. If it could survive as a theater then it wouldn’t have gone out of business. We don’t get nostalgic about buildings that were built for other purposes. Nobody is insisting that the Wonder Bread Factory become a community bakery. Something like the Arlington Draft House would be nice.

      I think a lot of other changes also need to happen. The CVS with the big parking lot needs to lose the parking and add height. The shops on the MD side that all sell the same cutesy crap will be priced out and replaced. The business strip on 4th St needs to be sold, leveled, and rebuilt. Hopefully someone can buy the buildings on the east side of Blair just south of the metro. That space isn’t be utilized enough. All of this will hopefully make that tall office building on the MD side more attractive for tenants. I think it has high vacancy rates. Takoma is a great neighborhood but it could be even greater.

  • I’m cautiously optimistic about this project. I think it would be a very positive thing. I’m always amazed at the number of people getting off the metro at all hours of the day and night because there is so little commercial businesses in the area.
    But there has been so little change in this area for so long–I just wonder how the long-term residents of this area feel about it.
    I’m also pretty curious about the Walter Reed re-development nearby and how that will affect this area.

  • Langston

    Great news! I’m looking forward to a leisurely walk over there from Manor Park next Spring.

  • PCC

    The Post writeup also mentions that a Brookland lease is pending, but doesn’t say where. Perhaps at Monroe Street Market, to anchor its Arts Walk?

  • Anonymous

    Meh. Bustboys and Poets isn’t anything to write home about. They seem to be proud of their stick in the ass staff. And that Andy Shalall is quite the drama queen. Are they going to demolish that God-Awful 7-11? That 7-11 seems to be in the way of progress. Put it on the ground floor of a mixed-use building. I love the vibe of Takoma, very small town USA feel. Too bad Bustboys will bring an heir of pretention.

    • Ever walk by a restaurant with lousy food and service and wonder why all the crowds? Now you know.

    • Anonymous

      i’ve never met a pretentious person at busboys… well except for the owner.
      i find it to be a pretty chill, relaxed place. and the vegetarian food is great for dc, though the rest of the dishes are far too dull. i don’t really understand the hate, except that people do love to hate, don’t they. do you know who also engaged in projection of their own hate? yes, you know.

      • I totally agree–the waitstaff have been nothing but nice in the 3 locations I’ve been to. Out in Hyattsville on Sunday night, B&Ps was unexpectedly packed, and our waitress repeatedly made sure we were ok, apologized for things taking so long (we didn’t complain about the wait), and took a couple drinks off our bill for the wait just because. I’m thrilled B&Ps is opening up in Takoma!!

      • Anonymous

        and i should say that while i find andy a bit off-putting i do know that he’s an incredible man and his heart is in the right place.
        also this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hdDjsm6lTo&feature=youtu.be

  • Brookland would be really nice.


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