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Amid newly prominent rape allegations, Bill Cosby has had at least one stalwart supporter: Ben’s Chili Bowl. The comedian has been a fond patron of the D.C. landmark, and in exchange, the place has long said Cosby was the only diner in the world who ate free there. (President Barack Obama and his family were added to the list after the 2008 election.) The restaurant says it still considers Cosby part of the family. “Cosby being part of our family, it’s natural that it’s part of the discussion,” Vida Ali, a member of the family that owns Ben’s, told Washington City Paper when the allegations resurfaced in mid-November. “But it’s been in a positive light, and it’s wanting to support him.”
Ben’s has a large, colorful mural of Cosby on the wall of its flagship U Street NW location—right next to Obama himself. It’s getting harder and harder to ignore Cosby’s now sinister-looking gaze, though.