After 10 years at the side of 5th and K Streets NW, Busboys and Poets are migrating its Mount Vernon Triangle area to 450 K Street NW.
Owner Andy Shallal told Commercial Observer that his landlord Edens wanted to raise the rent at his CityVista location—1025 5th Street NW—by 30 percent. He did not disclose the rent amount but said he negotiated it down to 12 percent, which was ultimately still too much of an increase for the restaurant to withstand. “I wanted to make sure we can be sustainable not only during good times but difficult times—there are bound to be some in the next 10 years,” Shallal said.
“We are happy that Busboys and Poets are moving to 450 K—they are a wonderful part of the neighborhood, and we’re glad they will continue to be in the heart of the Mount Vernon Triangle,” Schwalb told CO via email.
Busboys’ Mount Vernon location is one of six in the D.C. metro area.
“It’s a great neighborhood,” Shallal said about his decision to stay in the community. “We were there from the beginning when Mount Vernon was just becoming more populated. It was just us and a Safeway basically, now there are 10 to 15 restaurants and lots of new buildings.”
The new space, which is 6,400 square feet and about 1,000 square feet smaller than the 5th & K location, was formerly occupied by L’Hommage Bistro Francais. The layout is “very different,” Shallal said, adding that it will have about 40 fewer seats (the current location seats 320 people). It will take $300,000 to transform the former French bakery into Busboys’ signature look inspired by African-American activists and social justice-themed artwork. Shallal said it would include a state-of-the-art sound and audio visual system for performances, two rooms for events and a large patio.
Shallal signed a 15-year lease that includes a five-year option. He would not disclose the asking price for rent.
He’s also expecting to open his seventh Busboys outpost in Anacostia by the end of the year. It will be the chain’s first location east of the Anacostia River. Furthermore, he investigates Skyland improvement in the Southeast to open an area for his Eatonville eatery. The present area of Mount Vernon Triangle is booked to shut in September.
Busboys is a favorite here in the city, so the location switch is no big deal at all! Can’t wait to hop in for a visit.