Ben’s Chili Bowl is an iconic food destination in Washington, DC. A mural of Bill Cosby that once graced the side of its U Street building has been removed.
The disgraced Cosby’s face wasn’t the only one in the mural. Unfortunately a painting of Barack Obama also fell victim to the “fresh start.”
Reports the Washington Post:
W.Ellington Felton, an artist in residence at Ben’s, tells Washingtonian he helped lead the removal effort, which took place over Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. Asked why Ben’s removed it now, he said, “Obama’s not in office. It’s the end of an era.” The restaurant also wanted to get new people on the mural and increase community engagement.
The change, first reported by Popville, was meant to be a total surprise and even some of the employees didn’t know, Felton says. Asked why they repainted it in the middle the night, he says the restaurant “wanted it to be clear that this was our decision.”
In an online survey, the famous DC half-smoke joint says it plans to “refresh and repaint” the artwork and asks participants to name up to six people to be featured on its new mural, which has spent “5 years of braving the elements.” The mural has also weathered a good deal of criticism for featuring Cosby, perhaps Ben’s most famous customer until Obama visited in 2009.
It’s a safe bet that Cheeto Jesus will NOT be making his way onto that wall.
Photo: Ben’s Chili Bowl