One of the D.C. area’s most iconic Black-owned businesses has closed its Arlington outpost, seemingly for good.
The Ben’s Chili Bowl location at 1725 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn has closed. Its signs and much of its interior have been removed, and the phone line has been disconnected.
No signs or social media posts about the Rosslyn location’s closure could be found. Attempts to reach a member of the Ali family, which has owned Ben’s since its founding in 1958, were unsuccessful.
The Rosslyn location was the first Ben’s Chili Bowl outside of D.C. not located in a sports stadium. It opened in 2014 amid much fanfare, including a ribbon cutting with Arlington County officials and the since-imprisoned Bill Cosby.
The closure — and removal of the restaurant’s panda statue — was noted on social media late last week.
The Arlington location of Ben’s Chili Bowl will not re-open. They took down the sign and took away the giant painted panda pic.twitter.com/gVvVD8SsMX
— Steve Chenevey FOX5 (@stevechenevey) June 7, 2020
Another Ben’s Chili Bowl location in Reagan National Airport closed during the pandemic, according to the airport website, though there is no indication that the closure is permanent.