Skip to Main Content

Washington, DC: Mural with Barack and Michelle Obama

Chili restaurant decorated with exterior murals of President and Michelle Obama, Prince, Muhammad Ali. Repainted in 2017 to remove Bill Cosby.

Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U St NW, Washington, DC
Ben's Chili Bowl, U St. NW between 12th and 13th St NW.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Mural with Barack and Michelle Obama

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Obama mural.

Mural with Barack and Michelle Obama

For five years one of the outside walls at Ben's Chili Bowl restaurant was painted with a mural that featured portraits of customers President-elect Barack Obama and comedian Bill Cosby. In early 2017 Ben's covered up the artwork and asked the public who it wanted to see in a new mural. Obama made the cut, as did First Lady Michelle Obama. Others include boxer Muhammad Ali, abolitionist Harriet Tubman, and musician Prince. Ben's interior is lined with photos that commemorate the visits of famous customers, including several of President Obama. He ordered a chili half-smoke and a sweet tea.

[Kurt Deion /, 11/30/2018]
Obama and Cosby Mural

This is no longer here; it has been painted over.

[Heather, 05/09/2017]

President Obama and Bill Cosby.

Obama and Cosby Mural

Ben's Chili Bowl has had numerous famous diners over the years, most notably President-elect Barack Obama and comedian Bill Cosby. Both are commemorated with their likenesses painted on Ben's outside wall, but Cosby's now tarnished legacy has ignited a debate on whether Obama's mural neighbor should be removed.

[Kurt Deion, 08/08/2015]
Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Lifelike Lincoln at TheaterLifelike Lincoln at Theater, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
The Watermelon HouseThe Watermelon House, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
Erroneous Sculpture of Chester A. ArthurErroneous Sculpture of Chester A. Arthur, Washington, DC - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Lincoln Frees Enslaved Man, Washington, DC - 3 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

DC Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Great American Alligator Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana (May 13-19, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings