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Obituaries; Helen Liu Fong, 78; Architect Created Futuristic Designs for Coffee Shops
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Deaths -- Fong, Helen Liu
Author: Woo, Elaine
Date: Apr 26, 2005
Start Page: B.10
Section: California Metro; Part B; Metro Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Among her major contributions were Johnie's coffee shop at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, the Holiday Bowl on Crenshaw Boulevard, Pann's coffee shop near Westchester and the first Norms restaurant, on Figueroa Street. Of these, Pann's, Johnie's and a small part of the Holiday Bowl are still standing.

When [Eugene Choy] downsized in 1951, she found another job in the same building, at the offices of Louis Armet and Eldon Davis, both USC graduates, who had opened their firm in 1947 and were just beginning to design coffee shops alluring enough to get customers out of their cars. They assembled a culturally diverse staff, and Fong -- described by colleagues as opinionated, disciplined and commanding - - was a standout who soon became what Newlove called "the guiding influence who kept the firm going."

Fong retired in the late 1970s, but to this day, Newlove said, employees still adhere to the no-whistling rule. And the only background music allowed is classical because Fong, an opera lover, would permit no other kind.

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