BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One famous restaurant wants to bridge the gap between Washington D.C. and Baltimore, and they hope their iconic food will do just that.
Ben’s Chili Bowl opened its first and only Maryland location at the Horseshoe Casino on Wednesday.
“It’s a world-class iconic brand that we’re so excited to have,” Horseshoe Casino General Manager Randy Conroy said.
Ben and Virginia Ali opened the family business on U Street in 1958, but they first found love in Baltimore.
“I fell in love with my husband, on my second date, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore,” Virginia Ali said.
Despite Ben’s passing in 2009, the family legacy has continued to live on.
“I’m 86-years-old,” Virginia Ali said. “I don’t know how much more forward I have. But my sons, three sons, and their wives are part of the Chili Bowl, and they are the future. They are going to grow this business and make it a brand nationwide.”
Ben’s Chili Bowl is rich in history and culture. The restaurant donated food for the 1960 March on Washington and served the first African-American president of the United States, Barack Obama.
“We’ve been around for 62 years and we’ll be around for another 62 years,” Ben’s Chili Bowl Historian Bernie Demczuk said. “We love Baltimore.”
The restaurant has stirred in food and family; their chili bowls and hearts piled high.
“It’s my parents’ dream, and so for the family to be realizing that dream and working together is a beautiful thing,” Sage Ali, Ben and Virginia Ali’s son, said.