Shortly after noon on Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to add Norms Coffee Shop to the list of Historic Cultural Monuments. The landmark protection will require city review of any proposed changes to the googie style restaurant built in 1957. As we’ve reported before, developer Jason Illoulian of Faring Capital purchased the property last December and has plans to build a “village of shops” in the surrounding parking lot. He told me in March that he thinks the building is “beautiful” and “awesome,” but was unsure who his future tenant(s) would be. “We’re hoping to keep it as a 24-hour diner,” says Illoulian of the restaurant space. “Whether it’s Norms or somebody else.”
Googie masters Armet & Davis designed the building 58 years ago for founder Norm Roybark and the venerable all-night restaurant would like to stay put. Norms president Mike Colonna issued a statement following the council’s vote thanking the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Cultural Heritage Commission, and the entire city council, singling out councilmember Paul Koretz “for not just defending the building’s structure, but for supporting Norms’ goal to continue serving the local community.” Norms has not yet worked out a new lease for the property. “From the beginning, we’ve made our intent very clear: to stay and run a Norms restaurant out of that location. We look forward to working with our landlord on a solution that would allow us operate Norms La Cienega while protecting the integrity of our googie architecture and the historical significance of the building.” The city has done its part. Now let’s hope Colonna and Illoulian can come to an agreement.