Howard County will soon welcome the largest Busboys & Poets restaurant in the chain, and the first in the Baltimore region, to the Merriweather District in Downtown Columbia.

The new 10,700-square-foot, two-story location will bring the Washington, D.C.-based restaurant, bookstore and event space into the forthcoming mixed-use neighborhood being built by the Howard Hughes Corp. (HHC). Busboys & Poets currently has seven locations across the Washington Metropolitan area and is a cultural hub for artists and activists, as well as a highly rated restaurant.

The Busboys & Poets will be a stand-alone, two-story building featuring indoor and outdoor seating, all-day dining options and a curated book collection. The store will showcase books and authors, on a local and national level, who have contributed to conversations around social change. The grand opening of the Merriweather District is scheduled for fall 2020.

“The [new] Columbia, Maryland, Busboys & Poets will be our largest and most exciting location, serving as a regional gathering space where people can celebrate literature, arts, politics, our award-winning bookstore and critically acclaimed conscious cuisine,” said Andy Shallal, Busboys & Poets owner and founder. “The area’s rich arts heritage, and history of inclusiveness and progressivism, played a significant role in our decision to build our largest location in Merriweather District. We are looking forward to using the increased space to host larger events and gatherings that we hope will enrich the community and be a draw for our Baltimore and D.C. neighbors, in addition to the local Columbia residents.”

“For years we have admired Busboys & Poets’ civic-minded business model and believe it is truly a perfect fit for our community of Columbia, founded on the pillars of progress and innovation,” said Greg Fitchitt, president, Columbia, of HHC, who added that the move represents a “big leap” for Shallal to come from a place with the density of D.C. to Columbia. “He’s had big name people [at his D.C. locations] many times and I can’t wait to see who’s coming here.”

Groundbreaking is set for Sept. 25, at 1 p.m. Busboys & Poets is slated to open late 2020.