Bill Cosby, comedian and half-smoke aficionado, stopped by Thursday for the grand opening of Ben’s Chili Bowl in Arlington, the first new stand-alone location for the DC institution in more than 55 years.
“The reason why this establishment has decided to open here is for me,” Cosby joked to a large crowd gathered outside in below-freezing temperatures. “I’m 76 1/2 years old and I’m going to have my 77th birthday in July, and I am facing the fact that I can go any time I’m called."
“We’re excited to welcome Ben’s Chili Bowl to Arlington,” said Jay Fisette, chair of the Arlington County Board, in a news release from Ben's Chili Bowl.
Cosby spoke to a huge crowd outside at the opening Thursday morning. The new restaurant is located at 1725 Wilson Blvd. in Rosslyn. Check out the menu here.
“Residents and visitors to the nation’s capital have enjoyed this iconic landmark for more than a half-century," Fisette said, "and we couldn’t be happier that Ben’s has chosen Arlington as its first expansion outside D.C.”
The Ali family is eager to continue to build upon the rich history of community service that Ben’s is known for everywhere. “Rosslyn is an up-and-coming hotspot in the DC area, which makes it the perfect home for Ben’s Chili Bowl – a hot spot on its own. Our neighborhood continues to grow more vibrant and we think Ben’s is the perfect addition to our community,” said Mary-Claire Burick, president of Rosslyn Business Improvement District.
Ben’s Chili Bowl DC location is a stop-off point for a lot of big names: President Obama stopping by to enjoy a Chili Half Smoke. Ben’s has been seen on Man vs. Food, CNN, Oprah, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Good Morning America, Larry the Cable Guy, Pauly Shore, The Daily Show, and countless other national and international shows.