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West LA's Classic Googie-Designed Norm's Will Likely Face Demolition

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The Norm’s on Pico could be going away for good

A worker inside of a restaurant carries plates and picks up more from the kitchen in a fast-paced environment.
Inside the Norms on La Cienega
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Another day, another threatened Googie diner classic. This time it’s the Norm’s on Pico Boulevard in West LA/Rancho Park, and if all goes according to plan the place will be shuttered for good by December 31.

LA Observed first reported on the possible shake-up at the long-running Pico location, pointing to a West of Westwood Homeowner’s Association notification that advised locals of plans to possibly demolish the building altogether. Per the notice:

The new owners are probably waiting to learn if Pico will be upzoned or apply under the Transit Overlay District to build a huge project on the land.

As Curbed eloquently points out, the nearly 50 year old building has some serious Googie street cred, representing one of Los Angeles’s most enduring architectural styles. Occasionally developers have gone out of their way to retain the big, swooping buildings (or been forced to by the city, as was the case with the Googie-famous Norm’s on La Cienega last year), but more often than not LA’s own expansion plans — transit or otherwise — supersede artistic relevance.

Norm’s on Pico in West LA
Wikipedia Commons

That’s particularly true for this stretch of the city, which is actively seeking more density thanks to a growing presence of public transportation. As it stands, the writing may already be on the wall as the property itself was sold for over $8 million last year, and was even then being touted as a possible place for denser urban redevelopment.

So far though, no word on what if anything will actually happen. But know that if nothing changes, your last day to dine at Norm’s on Pico will be New Years Eve.