The D.C.-based bookstore chain will be opening in the new Merriweather District.

Busboys and Poets is expanding into Maryland with a new location in Columbia. The bookstore and restaurant chain opened its first store in 2005 and will grow to eight locations with the addition of the Howard County locale. The restaurant will be a part of the Merriweather District, a 14 million-square-foot mixed-use development located near the Mall in Columbia. Busboys and Poets will occupy a custom-built 10,000-square-foot space complete with retail, restaurant, and event space. 

Busboys and Poets was founded by Andy Shallal in the U Street Corridor neighborhood of D.C. Named for Langston Hughes, a busboy that worked at the Wardman Park Hotel, the bookstore and coffee shop was established as a place where people could connect. The restaurant hosts poetry nights, art exhibitions, author appearances, and other events. Busboys and Poets is also home to a large bookstore that includes selections by local authors.

The restaurant’s large menu features a variety of international breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes, plus a selection of vegan-friendly items. Menu items include eggs Benedict, sweet potato hash, lamb sliders, crab cake sandwiches, and Vega BBQ beef. Busboys and Poets also commits to the best practices in sustainability by recycling, sourcing organic and fair trade foods, and using green cleaning supplies. 

Aerial rendering of the Merriweather District

Aerial rendering of the Merriweather District, courtesy of Howard Hughes Corporation

The new Busboys and Poets building will have two floors with indoor and outdoor seating and a bookstore, along with private and public event space. It joins a lineup of restaurants, office buildings, and residences designed by The Howard Hughes Corporation as a live-work-and-play neighborhood. The project will be the first LEED Neighborhood Development in Maryland and only the second built on the East Coast. An opening date for Busboys and Poets Columbia has not been announced.

Have you spent time at Busboys and Poets? What is your favorite thing on the menu? Tell us in the comments!