Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shaw in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Ben's Chili Bowl / Minnehaha Theater

1213 U Street, NW

 

—African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC —

 
Ben's Chili Bowl / Minnehaha Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, June 28, 2009
1. Ben's Chili Bowl / Minnehaha Theater Marker
Inscription. Ben's Chili Bowl, founded in 1958 by Ben and Virginia Ali, is one of the oldest continuous businesses on U Street. It is also one of the few to survive both the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and the years of the disruptive Metro construction in the late 1980s. Thanks in part to the patronage of entertainer Bill Cosby, Ben's has become a national landmark. The restaurant occupies the former Minnehaha Theater, a 1910 movie house owned and operated from 1913 to 1920 by Sherman H. Dudley, once a leading vaudeville performer and entrepreneur.

[Photo caption:] Ben's Chili Bowl, 1958
Collection of Ben's Chili Bowl

DC Historic Site
Cultural Tourism, DC
 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC - Funded by the DC Historic Preservation Office.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington, D.C. African American Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 55.027′ N, 77° 1.728′ W. Marker is in Shaw, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on U Street, NW east of 12th Street, NW, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1213 U Street, NW, Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other
Ben's Chili Bowl / Minnehaha Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, June 28, 2009
2. Ben's Chili Bowl / Minnehaha Theater Marker
- next to entrance, center left. Viewed from across U Street. The building to the left (across "Ben Ali Way") is the historic Lincoln Theater.
markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln Theatre and Lincoln Colonnade (a few steps from this marker); The True Reformer Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Marlon Francisco Morales (within shouting distance of this marker); You Had to Wear a Tie (within shouting distance of this marker); Industrial Bank of Washington (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); We had everything we needed right here (about 500 feet away); Louise Burrell Miller Residence (about 600 feet away); The Whitelaw Hotel and “the Duke” (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shaw.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for Ben's Chili Bowl. (Submitted on June 29, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Sherman H. Dudley. (Submitted on June 29, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. The Minnehaha Theatre / Ben's Chili Bowl. Historic U Street Jazz, The George Washington University 1999 (Submitted on January 19, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansEntertainmentLandmarksNotable Places
 
Ben's Chili Bowl 1958 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
3. Ben's Chili Bowl 1958
Close-up of photo on marker
Ben's Chili Bowl image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
4. Ben's Chili Bowl
Interesting News image. Click for full size.
By The Washington Bee, 1911
5. Interesting News
Minnehaha Theatre Advertisement
The Washington Bee, Dec. 16, 1911.
Interior of Ben's Chili Bowl image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, June 28, 2009
6. Interior of Ben's Chili Bowl
Note portrait of President Obama on west wall (left) near "[Washington] Redskins Country."
Barack Obama's portrait at Ben's Chili Bowl image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, June 28, 2009
7. Barack Obama's portrait at Ben's Chili Bowl
close up of photo commemorating then-President-elect Barack Obama's January 10, 2009 visit to Ben's - with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, lower left.
Ben Ali Alley Murals at Ben's Chili Bowl image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
8. Ben Ali Alley Murals at Ben's Chili Bowl
Barack Obama image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
9. Barack Obama
Mural in Ben Ali Alley on the wall of Ben's Chili Bowl.
Bill Cosby image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2014
10. Bill Cosby
Mural in Ben Ali Alley on the wall of Ben's Chili Bowl.
Ben Ali image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 28, 2015
11. Ben Ali
This photo of Ben Ali can be seen on the wall of Ben's National Airport location
.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 28, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,578 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 28, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   3, 4. submitted on January 19, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   5. submitted on January 20, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   6. submitted on June 28, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   7. submitted on June 29, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   8, 9, 10. submitted on January 19, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   11. submitted on June 7, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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