D.C. Memorial Planned for Ben's Chili Bowl Founder
WASHINGTON – A memorial is set for the founder of Ben's Chili Bowl, the landmark Washington, D.C., diner that has become a frequent stop for politicians and celebrities.
Ben Ali died earlier this month at 82. The memorial Friday is at Lincoln Theater next to his historic restaurant in Washington's black business and entertainment district.
Ali was born in 1927 and opened the restaurant with his wife, Virginia, in an old movie house in 1958, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and integrating public schools.
It became a longtime fixture in the black business community, serving up bowls of chili and its trademark chili-covered half-smoke sausages.