Bill Cosby loves his chili, especially when it comes from Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street in Washington D.C.
The iconic comedian has been visiting the restaurant for decades and he was in attendance this week when Ben’s Chili Bowl celebrated its 35th anniversary.
Cosby moderated the event, which was attended by Rev. Jesse Jackson, Mayor Vincent Gray, former Mayor Marion Barry and D.C. United player Chris Pontius, and also spoke at the event.
Cosby said of owner Virginia Ali: “Ben’s Chili Bowl—not only a place to come and visit, meet your friends, but a place of humanity. That’s what that philosophy has always been about.”
Politico notes that Ben’s Chili Bowl was a major landmark during the civil rights movement. The March On Washington was planned over a bowl of chili and the restaurant was one of the only places to remain open during the riots that followed Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968.
Ali said: “I remember people coming into the Chili Bowl, having something to eat before going to the march… I remember the enthusiasm of many people about going down there to march for equal rights and jobs.”
Here’s a video of Virginia Ali at her 55th anniversary party.
Politico reports that Bill Cosby has been a fan of Ben’s Chili Bowl since it opened in 1958.