Norms Restaurants

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Norms Restaurants
Founded1949; 74 years ago (1949) in Los Angeles, California, United States
FounderNorm Roybark
Number of locations
Area served
Southern California
OwnerNorms Restaurants, LLC Edit this at Wikidata

Norms Restaurants (stylized as NORMS) is a chain of diner-style restaurants in Southern California. Founded in 1949 by used-car salesman Norm Roybark, some restaurants are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As of November 2023, the company operates 23 locations in Greater Los Angeles.[1]


Norms in West Los Angeles in 2008 (since demolished)

The first Norms opened on Sunset Boulevard near Vine Street in 1949. The oldest surviving Norms, declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument number 1090 in 2015,[2] opened on La Cienega Boulevard in 1957, featuring a distinctive angular and brightly colored style that came to be known as Googie architecture.[3] Key characteristics include angular walls, large glass windows, jutting roof, and a neon marquee.[3] Many Norms restaurants, including the 1957 La Cienega Boulevard location, were designed by the architectural firm of Armét & Davis to look like automobile showrooms.[4] Their appearance has made them the subject of exhibitions curated by the Getty Center.[5][6]

In December 2014, the Roybark family sold the family-owned Bellflower-based chain, but not the land each of the restaurants had sat on, to an investment firm, CapitalSpring, for an undisclosed amount.[7] "We cut across everything," Mike Colonna, the new president of Norms said in 2019. "We have the blue collar workers, white collar workers with ties getting a quick lunch, ethnic diversity at every table. We get late-night millennials, and our base of baby boomers. We're kind of retro cool and we think the Googie architecture is a big part of the brand." When the real estate under the La Cienega store was sold, Colonna reassured customers that the business would stay. "Norms has committed to the location long term," Colonna told Los Angeles magazine. "We have an agreement with the landlord and plan to be in business for quite some time."[8]

The Norms restaurant on Pico in West Los Angeles was forced to close on Christmas Eve 2016 because the new landlords refused to renew the lease and had other unspecified plans for the real estate. County assessor records showed that the Roybark family had sold the land in April 2015 for $8.25 million.[9][10]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Referred to in the intro to Tom Waits' "Eggs and Sausage" off of Nighthawks at the Diner
  • The location of a popular hangout of the characters of the TNT show Men of a Certain Age
  • Depicted in the 1964 painting "Norms La Cienega on Fire" by Edward Ruscha[11]
  • Mentioned briefly in the third episode of the first season of American Horror Story
  • In his autobiography, Graham Nash mentions he, Stephen Stills, and David Crosby would have breakfast at the Norm's on Sunset during the recording of CSN's debut album.
  • In the 2015 film Woman in Gold starring Helen Mirren, the interior and exterior of a since-demolished Norms Restaurant on West Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles was used.[12]
  • In the film 10 to Midnight, Detective Leo Kessler (Charles Bronson) races past the location at 11001 West Pico Boulevard to save his daughter. Only the exterior is shown and even then only briefly.
  • Recurring location in Amazon's Bosch
  • On-site location for Carl Reiner/Mel Brooks episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
  • Featured in Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episode with Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner "I want sandwiches, I want chicken"[13]


  1. ^ "Norms Locations". Norms. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  2. ^ "Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) Report - City Declared Monuments". City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning. February 24, 2016. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Friedlander, Whitney (May 18, 2008). "Go on a SoCal Hunt for Googie Architecture". The Baltimore Sun.
  4. ^ Lacher, Irene (August 3, 2003). "Neon Rhapsody". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  5. ^ Hawthorne, Christopher (April 18, 2013). "Review: L.A.'s Satisfying Sprawl". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Reyes, Emily Alpert (January 15, 2015). "L.A. to Consider Preservation of Googie-Style Norms on La Cienega". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  7. ^ Nichols, Chris (January 8, 2015). "Norms Restaurant Chain Has Sold". Los Angeles.
  8. ^ Nichols, Chris (October 17, 2019). "Review: After 70 Years, the Norms Chain of Iconic Googie Diners Looks to the Future". Los Angeles.
  9. ^ Nichols, Chris (December 13, 2016). "The Classic Norms on Pico Is Closing on Christmas Eve: The Westwood coffee shop goes dark after 47 years". Los Angeles.
  10. ^ Chandler, Jenna (December 9, 2016). "Googie-style Norms on Pico Boulevard will close for good on Christmas Eve: It's looking like the site will be redeveloped". Curbed LA.
  11. ^ Painter, Alysia Gray (January 14, 2015). "Norms La Cienega: Demolition Permit Ordered: The Googie Diner Is Up for a Local Landmark Nomination". KNBC. Archived from the original on October 2, 2017.
  12. ^ "Our Brand Story". Norms Restaurants. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  13. ^ "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". Netflix. Retrieved June 15, 2023.

External links[edit]