If you Google the term “Googie,” Norms’ restaurants will be at the top of the search results.
This popular coffee chain, founded in Los Angeles in 1949, features some of the most famous examples of Googie architecture, the futuristic style that was particularly popular among street shops in Southern California in the mid-20th century.
The Googie was characterized by sloping roofs, large expanses of glass, and the use of geometric shapes that suggested energy or speed. The movement was inspired by American optimism after World War II, the beginning of the Space Age and the flowering of car culture. The Norms signature, each letter in a vertical stack of pennants, has become a Googie symbol in which the letters appear momentarily trapped as they speed by.
In its nearly 75 years and 22 locations, Norms has never expanded beyond Southern California – until now. The restaurant brings its style and rich history — “The Jetsons” meets buttermilk pancakes — to a location on West Charleston Boulevard that is scheduled to open before early summer 2024.
Why Las Vegas? Because right now?
“First of all, why not Las Vegas?” Eric Wyatt, the new president and CEO of Norms, asked in response. “It is the meeting point for consumers from all over the world. We love the demographic and want to demonstrate the portability of our brand. “We want to enter the market.”
On a large scale
For its new store at 4605 W. Charleston Blvd. Norms will be remodeling an existing building (partly to open sooner). According to Wyatt, the remodel will “pay homage to the Norms’ legacy and Googie architecture, from the signage to the patio. “Our pennant is historic and a legacy.”
If restaurants can succeed anywhere, they can do so in Las Vegas. “If I could, I would make the sign bigger,” Wyatt said, laughing. “We want to point out where we operate: not just as Norms, but as Norms in Las Vegas. We’ll see what happens from a permitting perspective.”
The Classics (And Some Exclusive Las Vegas Offers)
Norms is known for its all-day menu.
The pancake recipe dates back to the chain’s founding. The classic Big Better Breakfast includes two eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, hash browns and toast or pancakes. (Could there be anything more classic American on the go?) A club sandwich on toasted white bread is served the traditional way in a series of slices.
From there, the typical cafeteria menu offers plenty of onion rings, omelettes, steak and eggs, Cobb salad, fettuccine alfredo, fried chicken, grilled salmon, patty melt, shrimp with New York steak and beer. root in a cup.
There are also limited-time offerings that serve as a kind of test kitchen, like a thick-crusted Monte Cristo sandwich or a toasted roll with avocado, feta cheese and red onion. Korean BBQ beef and Wagyu burgers are currently being prepared for LTO.
The Las Vegas location will open with beer, wine and spirits, as well as freshwater served in California. “We will be offering chef-inspired dishes that will be exclusive to the Las Vegas market,” adds Wyatt. “We’re happy to adapt something like this to the needs of the market.”
The new standards will also act as a testing site.
“We want to see how well this works to help us with our future locations,” Wyatt said. “We believe there is more room for norms in Las Vegas.” That could mean Henderson or Summerlin or even the Strip, in a casino or standing alone, he said.
Imagine: A 500-foot-tall Norms sign in flashing neon on Las Vegas Boulevard. Call the Federal Aviation Administration. And send pancakes.