Following months of speculation, Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal will announce on Wednesday that he’s opening a branch of the growing restaurant and bookstore chain in Anacostia.
Busboys, which currently has two D.C. locations, on 14th Street NW and at 5th and K streets NW, is in the midst of a major expansion, with new branches planned in Takoma and Brookland. Shallal has long targeted Anacostia, and he reportedly signed a letter of intent this spring for the space at 2004-2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE formerly occupied by a furniture store.
On Wednesday, Shallal will formally announce the signing of a lease for the space at a press conference. He made the disclosure Thursday night at a dinner for housing professionals, nonprofit leaders, and reporters in Atlantic Media Company owner David Bradley‘s office in the Watergate.
Busboys will occupy the first floor of the building, which has 10,193 square feet of available retail space, according to the Washington DC Economic Partnership, which has promoted the site. The second floor, with 10,654 square feet of space, will host a culinary training program in partnership with the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, which owns the building.
The opening of the Anacostia Busboys will represent a major step forward for the retail in a neighborhood that has at times struggled to attract and retain restaurants. Existing and planned Busboys locations elsewhere in the city have tracked or heralded the kind of neighborhood economic growth that has so far eluded Anacostia.
This post has been updated after Shallal informed me that he learned the press conference would be Wednesday, not Tuesday.
Logo from the Busboys and Poets website