Ben’s Chili Bowl removes Barack Obama, Chuck Brown, Bill Cosby and Donnie Simpson mural

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Murals removed from Ben’s Chili Bowl (photography by Christopher Fields)

The original Ben’s Chili Bowl located at 1213 U Street in Northwest Washington, D.C. is known around the world for their half smokes; surviving the 1968 riots and their famous mural.

The mural of comedian, Bill Cosby; former President of the United States, Barack Obama; former host of Video Soul and radio host of 102.3 in D.C., Donnie Simpson and the Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown, that tourists and residents of Washington, D.C. have enjoyed since 2012 at the original Ben’s Chili Bowl, can now only be found in photo albums, websites and history books.

Ben’s Chili Bowl mural Barack Obama and Bill Cosby (photography by April Sims)


Ben’s Chili Bowl mural Barack Obama and Bill Cosby (photography by April Sims)

Ben’s Chili Bowl removed the images on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

Only a blank white wall remains after the images were removed.

Ben’s Chili Bowl original location blank wall (photography by Christopher Fields)

The Washingtonian asked Ben’s Chili Bowl artist in resident W. Ellington Felton why the images were removed. Felton answered,

Obama’s not in office. It’s the end of an era.”

Spring 2017 the blank wall will feature six new faces or new versions of the old faces.

Ben’s Chili Bowl, new year new mural (photography by Christopher Fields)

Ben’s wrote on their website

Now, after 5 years of braving the elements, its time to refresh and repaint the mural and we want your input!”

The list consists of names like the actor, Denzel Washington; D.C. Congresswoman, Eleanor Holmes Norton; Civil Rights leader and Congressman, John Lewis; reggae singer, Bob Marley; civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.; former President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, Sr; former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama and may more.

The public will have a chance to pick the names of six people that will adorn the now white wall on the side of Ben’s Chili Bowl.

There is also an option to add names.

Vote for your six replacements on Ben’s Chili Bowl website.

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