It's opening day for the Atlas District location of Ben's Chili Bowl. A ribbon cutting for the new restaurant took place this morning.
The latest incarnation of the U Street icon will be open late like the original half-smoke slinging restaurant. They'll offer breakfast and soft-serve ice cream, too. A sit-down restaurant and bar with a more extensive menu will be located upstairs (not unlike the Ben's Next Door restaurant on U Street). That will open in a couple months. Later to come: a rooftop and patio.
Washington City Paper noted this location plays down the presence of Bill Cosby, who has always eaten for free at the original (and spoke at the opening of the second Ben's). Owners of Ben's have declined to comment in detail to media about the comedian's association with the restaurant, even since unsealed documents show him admitting to drugging women for sex.
Ben's Chili Bowl has been in expansion mode lately. There is another stand-alone location in Rosslyn, as well as offshoots in Nats Park and Reagan National airport.
Ben's Chili Bowl, 1001 H St. NE, website