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Socially Conscious Busboys and Poets Cafe Hopes to Anchor Underserved Anacostia

The local brand opened its seventh location this week

Wall art at the new Busboys and Poets in Anacostia
Busboys and Poets/Facebook

Southeast’s new hope

The seventh location of local cafe/bookstore/events space Busboys and Poets opened in Anacostia this week, giving the underserved food desert in Southeast a new full-service restaurant full of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on a wide-spanning menu.

The opening, which was first announced in November 2014, was met with much fanfare. Mayor Muriel Bowser attended the ribbon-cutting on Tuesday. LaVerne R. Glenn, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 8, told WTOP the cafe’s arrivial is “very emotional” and “exciting.”

Owner Andy Shallal, who has turned the cafes into community hubs for progressive speakers and book readings, tells Washingtonian he’s hoping to provide the type of gathering place that will attract more restaurants to the area. Washington City Paper reports that Shallal has scrapped plans to include a culinary and hospitality training center and will instead work with his nonprofit landlord, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, to develop a leadership program. [WTOP; Washingtonian; WCP]

New wurst for Old Town

A new German and Austrian restaurant opened in Old Town this month, bringing Alexandria imported Bavarian pretzels, hot wurst platters, and 11 German beers on tap. Northern Virginia Magazine reports that Village Brauhaus comes from owner William Gross, a CIA-grad who previously worked at Eleven Madison Park and Le Cirque in New York. His wife, Chelsea Gross, spearheads the beverage program. Chef James Petrizzo is making the Kassler Rippchen (smoked pork chops).

Top spots experiment

Some of D.C.’s best restaurants are participating in an “off-menu week” initiative from reservations platform Resy. Washington City Paper has the details on experimental dishes — think spicy laab burgers at Maketto and lamb doner kebab from the Partisan — that several places are planning to serve from April 8 to April 14. [WCP]

Chevy Chase gets dough

The Collection shopping center in Chevy Chase is adding two new restaurants in the former Ralph Lauren store this year, Washington Business Journal reports. One will be a brewpub from a New York brand, and the other will be the previously reported expansion site of popular Del Ray kitchen Junction Bakery & Bistro. Per WBJ, the new Junction is supposed to open by December. It will feature a full bar, but a smaller kitchen means it will be sourcing its baked goods from the Alexandria headquarters. [WBJ]