In 1958, newlyweds Ben and Virginia Ali used $5,000 to begin renovating a building at 1213 U Street. Built in 1910, it first housed a silent movie house called the Minnehaha Theater. Later, Harry Beckley, one of D.C.’s first Black police detectives, converted it into a pool hall.
On August 22, 1958, Ben’s Chili Bowl opened for business. After a 50 plus year journey, business is booming and the Ben’s brand is red hot. Ben’s has expanded to include Ben’s Next Door, in addition to outposts at Nationals Park and FedEx Field.
Ben’s Upstairs is the newest restaurant concept from the family behind Ben’s Chili Bowl. Ben’s Upstairs aims to take your neighborhood restaurant and bar up a notch and to be your regular spot whether dining alone, with friends or hosting a large event! Ben’s Upstairs provides superior service and quality food and drink by infusing spirited and creative southern food with Caribbean spices and influences, as well as a thoughtful selection of local craft beer, and fine delectable craft cocktails.
We are excited to announce that Ben’s Upstairs has partnered with innov8energy and has committed to 100% wind power!
Learn more about Ben’s Upstairs here.