LA Restaurants

LA Landmarks: The Space Age Googie Style Architecture of Pann’s Restaurant

A few decades back, Googie style architecture was the rage for all of the coffee shop restaurants.  Some of the big chain restaurants featuring it were Bob’s Big Boy and Azar’s Big Boy.  If you were alive then, you remember them.

It’s a distinctive, space age style of architecture that makes you think of the old cartoon series, The Jetsons.  It features lots of windows and distinctive roof lines and was invented to catch the attention of passing motorists. Today there are only a few examples of this authentic fifties and sixties coffee shop/diner experience left. Among them is the historic Johnie’s Coffee Shop which has been closed for some years and now serves as a movie location and recently as a campaign headquarters for Democratic Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders.  Another is the famous Mel’s Drive In on Sunset Blvd.   Eventually I’ll get around to photograph the rest and will do a post on all of them.

Pann’s Restaurant and Cafe began in 1958 when George and Rena Panagopoulous moved to California with the dream of starting a restaurant.  It was an instant success.

Besides it’s historic style of architecture, I hear the food is to die for.  It’s traditional diner fare with a large breakfast menu that is served all day long.  They also have “blue-plate specials”…. remember them?

Pann’s has also starred in a few movies.  if you guessed Pulp Fiction was one of them, you’re close but not quite right. Pulp Fiction was filmed at Holly’s in Hawthorn which was Pann’s other location.  Unfortunately it was torn down and replace by an Auto Zone store in 1999.  Pann’s was also featured in xXx and Bewitched.

You can find Pann’s on the corner of La Cienega an LaTijera Blvd in Los Angeles.  The exact address is 6710 LaTijera Bl, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

It’s still a very popular restaurant so you might encounter a waiting line for an open table. Some other examples of unique architecture in Los Angeles include the iconic Mel’s Drive In, Randy’s Donuts, and the Snow White Cottages near Walt Disney’s old studio.

More photos after the break….

Los Angeles, CA/USA – May 23, 2020: Historic Pann’s Restaurant is closed for the first time since 1958 due to the coronavirus quarantine
Distinctive sign for historic Panns Restaurant, a historic example of fifties style Googie coffee shop architecture
Los Angeles, CA/USA – May 23, 2020: The sweeping roofline of of Panns Restaurant and Cafe is a hallmark of the Googie architecture style of the 1950s diners

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