Norms statement: No intention to demolish, but...

norms-la-cienega.jpgPhoto: Martin Schall/

After the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission made it clear today that it would look into landmarking the 1950s Norms coffee shop on La Cienega Boulevard, the president of the chain's new owner said the company is "thrilled" with talk of historic-cultural monument status. It's the owner of the land who filed for the city demolition permit — Norms just leases the building, says Jim Balis, president of Restaurant Management Group. The property owner has "no current plans" to redevelop the site, he says. But at the same time, the land owner did hire an architect "to explore potential future opportunities for the site."

Sounds like the restaurant itself may be on the side of preservationists and Googie fans who want to keep Norms open.

We have never had any intention of demolishing NORMS La Cienega, nor do we intend to do so in the future. The demolition permit in question was filed by the Norman Cienega Property Group, the owners of the property from which NORMS La Cienega is leased. They have assured us that they have no current plans to demolish the building. The owners just purchased the property last month, and we understand they have just started working with an architect to explore potential future opportunities for the site. They have also assured us that there will be outreach to the community, the stakeholders and us before moving forward with any proposal for the property.

When we acquired NORMS Restaurants in December 2014, we established our commitment to carry on the NORMS tradition that Southern Californians have adored for nearly 75 years. It is our continued mission to not alter, but maintain the excellent service, food and atmosphere that make NORMS a favorite neighborhood establishment.

We are thrilled with the recent decision to consider NORMS La Cienega a Historic Cultural Landmark. We appreciate the immense outpouring of support from our loyal customers and communities. We are dedicated to maintaining the success and legacy of the iconic NORMS restaurants for many years to come.

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Conservancy put out the word that Norms was threatened and today's meeting of the Cultural Heritage Commission was packed with people advocating for landmark status.

Earlier on LA Observed:
La Cienega Norms display cases: empty
Demo permit issued for Norms La Cienega

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