DC institution Ben's Chili Bowl crosses into Va. - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DC institution Ben's Chili Bowl crosses into Va.

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A District of Columbia landmark is expanding across the Potomac.

Ben's Chili Bowl opened its first location in Virginia on Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Arlington.

Bill Cosby, the restaurant's most famous cheerleader, cut the ribbon and entertained a crowd of several hundred that turned out to get one of Ben's signature chili half-smokes.

Ben and Virginia Ali opened their restaurant in 1958 in U Street in the District. It stayed open through race riots in the late '60s that devastated the neighborhood and has been a keystone in that neighborhood's revitalization.

Thursday's opening marks the first new stand-alone Ben's Chili Bowl since the original opened more than 55 years ago. The Ali family says it may look to expand further if the Arlington location is a success.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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