Photographer's Note

LA is a mecca for the so-called "Googie" architecture, and we have a sterling example here! This is Pann's Restaurant, a fifties diner which has been offering "real food" since 1958, so you know they have to be doing something right if they've been in business for 70 years. The restaurant was founded by Greek immigrants George and Rena Panagopoulos. George served in the US Air Force during World War II and learned to cook in Italy, where he traded with locals for fresh meats and vegetables to ensure food quality. It was there where he reportedly became known as the cook with "just wonderful food," something he strived to maintain with his own restaurant. When George came to LA, he first cooked at the Pantry in North Hollywood, in 1947, but opened his own restaurant, Rena's Café, named for his wife, in Inglewood. The pair ran it themselves until 1951, when George opened Yum Burger, and then Papy's Coffee Shop, and finally Pann's in 1958. Rena passed away in November, 2017, at the age of one hundred, but her spirit, and that of her husband, endures in their beloved restaurant.

The restaurant, considered somewhat "space-age" for the day, was designed by Helen Fong and the Armet and Davis architectural firm, who created a look which has been lovingly preserved to the present day. This, in addition to the delicious food, makes it a continuing success. There are self-guided tour itineraries online which make the rounds of the Googie-style architecture in LA, and this restaurant features prominently. I spoke with a waitress this afternoon who said that people come from all over the world, as the restaurant is near LA International Airport, but she was unaware that it was on a list of do-not-miss sites for Googie fans! Indeed, there were TWO people who were taking photos outside the restaurant at the same time I was! Pann's was recently awarded the Los Angeles Magazine's "Best of" award for its food, and also the Los Angeles Conservancy's Best Example of Classic Fifties Coffee Shop award. This site has also been the site of many Hollywood films, including XXX and Bewitched.

**Most of this information was from a page of Pann's menu. If you're a fan of Googie architecture, or just wonderful food (!), give this one a try.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 77 W: 78 N: 746] (1561)
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