Mural of famous faces unveiled on wall of Ben's Chili Bowl

A landmark in the District is getting a facelift.

A new mural on the side wall of Ben's Chili Bowl was unveiled - and it has some famous faces in the art work.

In the alley next to the restaurant, you can now see President Barack Obama, the late Godfather of Go Go Chuck Brown, and D.C. disk jockey Donnie Simpson who helped with his unveiling.

"I look high," Simpson said, laughing. "In the alley no less, I'm hanging in the alley with the president...what?"

Also on the wall is Bill Cosby. He's not exactly a D.C. icon, but as owner Virginia Ali says, "We decided who would go on our wall. I mean afterall it was our wall."

She said Cosby has been a customer since 1959.

Inside, customers continued to buy those chili dogs, while in the alley the family of Chuck Brown, who died in May, came to enjoy his image.

Brown's 13-year-old grandson was there and he likes the mural.

And no one was having more fun today than the artist who had to learn graffiti.

"I just started using spray paint, so to me it's a new experience," Aniekan Udofia said.

This is the latest work in the city's Murals D.C. program, but there are many others all over town.

Since 2007, graffiti artists have decorated the walls with street art. It was Councilmember Jim Graham's idea to cut down on graffiti from kids. Whether that's worked or not, it was a big hit today.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off