Ben’s Chili Bowl, the iconic eatery on U Street, is more than just a place to get the best chili dogs in town. It is an institution, reflecting the changing African-American culture in Washington since it opened in 1958.
Next week the wife and children of the late owner, Ben Ali, will present artifacts and documents from the Washington landmark to the Africana Research Center at the library of the George Washington University.
Photos, papers and documents from Ben’s Chili Bowl will be given to the Africana Research Center so it can continue to develop and preserve a collection to support research on the African-American experience throughout the 20th century.
Some of the artifacts were lost to the family throughout the years. It was almost a treasure hunt getting them back.