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The chain of 24-hour diners is opening its first Inland Valley location on Indian Hill Boulevard in Claremont immediately south of the 10 Freeway. The closest of 17 Norm’s are in West Covina and Riverside. Here’s the Wikipedia page and here’s the official website.

Chili’s used to be on this site but was demolished circa 2005 for a Claremont Toyota expansion that didn’t take. I’d say Norm’s is a step up from Chili’s, and not only from a novelty standpoint, but your mileage may vary.

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  • Bob Terry

    I just hope they don’t plan on having a drive thru or sell junk food and alcohol to local college students. I myself would personally protest a Norm’s due to their low budget, tacky commercials they run. Another thing, how did any part of Indian Hill below the 10 Fwy not be Pomona? Ygnacio must be rollin’.

    [Haha. Hey, it’s Norm’s, not 7-Eleven. Which was dropped. — DA]

  • John Clifford

    Darn, saw the heading and thought you were going to review Norm’s Hangar at Brackett Field. A breakfast favorite of Mrs. C and I.

    Since most people will assume that it’s in Pomona I guess that they CAN have a drive-through and sell alcohol to college students if they want to?

    [I’ve never been to Norm’s Hangar, or Maniac Mike’s at Cable for that matter, but obviously I need to. — DA]

  • Bob House

    Looks like Norm’s’ “Googie” architecture days are over — at least as far as new restaurants. A quick Google Map Street View search shows bland, generic buildings that don’t even use the space age “pointy” sign any more.

    The now-gone Ship’s Coffee Shops were similar to Norm’s in terms of broad menu and Googie style, but Ship’s had toasters built into each table and countertop so you could toast your own bread for the meal.

    [I’ll be disappointed if the new Norm’s is bland and featureless — but now I won’t be surprised. — DA]

  • Ronald Scott

    That corridor has a lot of competition…Denny’s, BC Cafe, that nasty restaurant that was once Bakers Square, and now Norms. I’m thinking the whatever it’s called now restaurant on Indian Hill and San Jose will lose the 2 or 3 people I’ve seen go in there.

    [Yeah, it’s no longer Garden Square (which drew a mixed review on this blog) and now something I can’t remember either. Haven’t noticed if the GS in La Verne is still there. I hope Norm’s and BC can peacefully, and profitably, co-exist. — DA]

  • This is very good news as I frequent that area often (I live a few blocks from there).

    I used to go to Chili’s there and it was ok, we met for drinks and appetizers and it wasn’t as riff-raffy as expected. It’s a nice thing to have another eatery nearby that I don’t have to drive over to the Montclair/Upland for.

    BC Cafe is okay, except that you have to know when to go (time schedule or something). While Denny’s is a low budget place across the street, a Norms won’t hurt. Sometimes Dennys is filled. Great Catch D.A.!

  • Bob Terry

    The “nasty” restaurant you are referring to is called “Garden Square” and the same owner also converted the Baker’s in La Verne to the same name.

    [No, it’s changed names again. It’s (Somebody’s) Cafe. — DA]

  • Both Norm’s Hangar at Brackett and Maniac Mike’s are very good, reasonably priced airport cafes. I enjoy visiting monthly as I love watching the small planes take off and land.

  • calwatch

    This will be great, since me and my friends used to drive to San Gabriel (and now West Covina) after movies and stuff, because I refuse to eat at Denny’s.

    Try the garlic fries. The steak is a decent steak at a good price — nothing fancy, but will fill you up. The Norm’s in San Gabriel was probably the last American restaurant left on Valley Boulevard, so it was a shame to see it packed up, but they did replace the sign, in all of its glory, at the one in West Covina.

    Another chain that I’d like to see come down to SoCal would be the Black Bear Diner. They are common in small town California. They serve HUGE portions of food and have awesome breakfast, and their menu is not the overly diverse kind that you find at the BC Cafe or Barney’s Beanery.

  • Sparky

    Wally’s. It’s called Wally’s Pies.

    I don’t know if it’s nasty because I haven’t tried it.

    [That’s the name. — DA]

  • I wrote off Norms quite awhile ago after falling in love when I first moved to Los Angeles. I had awful service one time and then got sick on another.

    I may give it another shot one of these days.

    [I’ve only been there once, in Santa Monica several years ago. Norms may wear old fast once it’s here, but as a novelty, at least, I’m looking forward to it. — DA]