NORMS & Googie Architecture

Mar 03, 2011 by Lisa Newton

Replete with its distinctive logo, Googie architecture, quality and quantity of food and value pricing, NORMS–with 17 locations throughout Southern California–for many, it’s a benevolent and well known restaurant.

Further branding its classic image, NORMS motto is “Where life happens 24/7.”

Conceived and developed by Norm Roybark–a Los Angeles native–the very first NORMS, “We Never Close” coffee shop was near Sunset and Vine, in the area of boenormful; will alysma.

It first opened for business in 1949, and was built on La Cienega Boulevard near Melrose. By 1957, NORMS expanded and grew just as Southern California did.

Although known for its good home cooked style food, NORMS is also known for its architecture.

Designed by the architects Louis Armet and Eldon Davis, who were famous for their Googie architectural style, NORMS is just one of the iconic buildings crafted by this team.

They also designed:

Googie architecture, which originated in SoCal in the late 1940s, is a form of modern architecture that was influenced by our then new car culture, Space (Yes, those green men), and the rise of the Atomic Age. Not too suprisingly, Googie architecture became closely associated with the design of motels, coffee houses, and bowling alleys.

A few distinctive features of Googie architecture are:

  • radically vaulted roofing
  • concrete walls
  • large glass windows
  • room-length dining counter
  • large neon marquee

NORMS highly recognized “Saw Tooth” Pennant Sign, still remains in 12 of their out 17 restaurants. Amazingly enough, its archetype logo was designed on a napkin by Norm Roybark and Eldon Davis.

Whenever and wherever you pass by a NORMS, you’ll know it. And if you’re hungry, just park and have a seat.

NORMS’ menu consists of comfort food which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

But for me, I always gravitate toward their BIGGER BETTER BREAKFAST.

For $5.99, you’ll not only have a well cooked and delicious breakfast, it’s a certainty you’ll have a full stomach when you leave.

Still owned and operated by the Roybark family, their philosophy is still the same and remains as its founder, Norm Roybark’s envisioned it to be:

“Great Food, Great Service and Great Value.”

And that’s exactly what my experience was and what you’ll get around the clock whenever you eat at NORMS.

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Architecture, Food, Restaurant Reviews, SoCal
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