Ben and Virginia Ali have since retired, but the restaurant, now run by their sons Kamal and Nizam, is still a local favorite. On Thursday, August 21, Ben’s 50th Anniversary Gala will be hosted by another famous Chili Bowl regular: Bill Cosby. A sign inside the restaurant proclaims that he’s the only customer who eats for free.
From 8 to 10 PM, the free(!) gala will be held at another U Street landmark, the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St., NW). The Alis want to give back to the community with live music and lots of food—including Ben’s chili dogs, of course. The following day, the true anniversary of Ben’s Chili Bowl will be celebrated with a festive block party on U Street.
Visit benschilibowl.com for more details.
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