Lattes to links, Norms opens for business

The towering neon orange sign is lit, and Norms Claremont is ready to serve.

 

The 24-hour diner, located off the corner of Indian Hill Boulevard and the 10 freeway, officially opened for business Tuesday morning, bringing local restaurant-goers a brand new casual dining alternative.

 

Norms President Philip Singerman feels his restaurant will help cater to the bargain hunters of the Claremont community, particularly the college crowd and freeway travelers looking for a quick pit stop.

 

“Whether you are rich or poor, value is important to all,” Mr. Singerman said. “We are here to serve Claremont, and give people a reason to keep coming back.”

 

About 60 people crowded outside the restaurant doors in anticipation of its 7 a.m. opening.

 

Michelle Fields was the coveted first in line at 5:10 a.m., accompanied by her family. No one else showed up for nearly 80 minutes.

 

“My family has been going to Norms for generations, and I wanted to keep the tradition going with my own daughter,” Ms. Fields said. “They have the best burgers!”

 

In addition to burgers, Norms menu runs the gamut, serving specials from steak and ribs to omelettes and pancakes at all hours of the day and night.

 

“You can’t not finding something to eat,” Mr. Singerman joked.

 

Though the late night waffles are a bonus, it’s the Norms service that has kept Ms. Fields’s family coming back to the diner for 5 generations.

 

“It’s a place that makes you feel like family,” Ms. Fields said. “They have good prices and baristas. No other breakfast place has a barista!”

 

Neither, for that matter, does any other Norms restaurant. Claremont’s location is the first store to have specially-trained drink specialists walking around, offering guests lattes, mochas, and espressos.

 

Norms Claremont is also the first store to sport the company’s new restaurant design, aiming for a more upscale feel. Some of the new features include fabric-laden booths and granite-style counters.

 

“It provides that ‘retro’ feel with a more contemporary twist,” Mr. Singerman said. “We aren’t just plastic chairs and Formica countertops anymore. It’s a little more upscale, but with our same prices.”

 

Though whether or not the fancier design is the cause for drawing in the crowds, business has been booming since the moment they opened their doors to hungry customers. On opening day, the restaurant was filled to capacity from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., boasted Mr. Singerman.

 

“We aren’t just a franchise that could be gone tomorrow. We have been in business 62 years, and we are committed to being here in Claremont.”

 

Norms is located south of the 10 freeway at Indian Hill Boulevard and Auto Center Drive. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, contact the store at 909-293-7871, or view the menu at www.normsrestaurants.com.

 

—Beth Hartnett

 

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