Landmark D.C. restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl celebrated its 55th anniversary Thursday with a mayoral proclamation, a congratulatory letter from President Obama and a visit from everyone’s favorite TV dad.

Bill Cosby, Ben’s most famous fan, arrived to cheers Thursday morning. Speaking before a crowd spilling over into U Street, Cosby eschewed the spotlight to honor instead the restaurant’s longtime employees.

The Washington Post notes that Cosby isn’t the only celebrity to enjoy a half-smoke at Ben’s over the years:

The range of A-listers who have stopped by Ben’s is impressive. Actors Denzel Washington and Chris Tucker, the singer Bono and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy have all made appearances. In the early days, according to Ben’s, guests included Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and even Martin Luther King Jr.

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Bill Cosby, President Obama Celebrate Ben’s Chili Bowl On D.C. Eatery’s 55th Anniversary  was originally published on

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