A Night of Arts at Busboys and Poets

A Night of Arts at Busboys and Poets

A place for creativity and expression is what customers claim Busboys and Poets offers every Wednesday night during their open mic nights.

Located in Charles Village near Johns Hopkins University, Busboys and Poets is a cultural hub for every kind of artist and dreamer with something to say. With the restaurant’s origins starting in Washington D.C., Busboys and Poets has expanded into the Baltimore area, providing residents with a gathering spot to express their creativity on Wednesday nights.

“Busboys is an artist hub and having a space where the arts can be incorporated is a very helpful thing.” Destini Philpot, an employee at Busboys and Poets, said. “It not only allows you to speak your mind, but it allows you to provide opportunities that were previously not provided in the city of Baltimore.” 

The restaurant is named after Langston Hughes, who was a busboy before being recognized as a poet. The restaurant contains a strong theme of social activism and civil rights. Open mic nights give community members the opportunity to share experiences and personal feelings.

“My poems talk to Black people and Black women specifically because that is my experience as an artist. I kind of decipher some of the feelings and put words to it,” Olivia Hadams, a biology teacher and open mic night contributor, said.

Her poem, which spoke of the underlying hardships Black people go through in obtaining healthcare, connects to the restaurant’s theme of social activism and the Black community. The space provided by the restaurant offers Hadams and others the chance to share their work and inspire others.

“I feel very empowered getting on the stage and I like to think that when I get off the stage, others feel very empowered too because some people might not know of the hardships Black women face when seeking medical attention,” Hadams said. “I’m really glad that I can enlighten people and bring them in, but also decipher things that they may have felt but didn’t know how to articulate.”

The restaurant chain was first welcomed in 2005 in the Washington D.C. area by community members, particularly those who opposed the war in Iraq. It’s a welcoming environment where people are given a place to rest from the world and take in art and culture to inspire change.

“Busboys always allows you to be yourself, so you come as you are, you be as you are and you vibe as you are,” Philpot said. “It’s very much a place of acceptance down to all the managers, servers, and hosts. Anyone who comes to Busboys doesn’t need to worry about fitting in because we’ll accept you as you are.”

Busboys and Poets is located on Saint Paul Street near the Johns Hopkins Library. For more information on upcoming events, visit Busboys and Poets’ official website.

Featured Image Courtesy of Enrique Muchacho