Norms Restaurants

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Norms Restaurants
Founded1949; 73 years ago (1949) in Los Angeles, California, United States
FounderNorm Roybark
Number of locations
Area served
Southern California
OwnerNorms Restaurants, LLC
Norms in West Los Angeles in 2008 (since demolished)

Norms Restaurants 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, seven days a week. There are currently 20 locations in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties, with additional restaurants in Encino and Rialto scheduled to open in the near future.[1]


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 Armet & Davis to look like automobile showrooms with booths resembling bucket seats.[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 mid-March 2020, all of the restaurants went to take-away or delivery because of the COVID-19 pandemic. By July outdoor dine-in was reinstated.

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "Norms Locations".
  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.
  5. ^ Hawthorne, Christopher (April 18, 2013). "Review: L.A.'s Satisfying Sprawl". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Reyes, Emily Alpert (January 16, 2015). "L.A. to consider preservation of Googie-style Norms on La Cienega". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ Nichols, Chris (January 8, 2015). "Norms Restaurant Chain Has Sold". Los Angeles Magazine.
  8. ^ Nichols, Chris (October 17, 2019). "Review: After 70 Years, the Norms Chain of Iconic Googie Diners Looks to the Future". Los Angeles magazine.
  9. ^ Chris Nichols (December 13, 2016). "The Classic Norms on Pico Is Closing on Christmas Eve: The Westwood coffee shop goes dark after 47 years". Los Angeles Magazine.
  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.

External links[edit]