Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council August 2022: Issue #8
Full Moon over the Sherman Oaks hills
Welcome to the August 2022 edition of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council's (SONC) newsletter, the Ziff Flyer.
Message from the President
Lindsay Imber

As we look toward the second half of summer in the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council's August 2022 newsletter, here are some issues SONC has been working on.
SONC President Lindsay Imber
Introducing SONC's Human Services Committee
The inaugural meeting of the Human Services Committee, co-chaired by Pamela Harris and SONC 2nd Vice President Sarah Manuel, will take place August 1, as the committee begins work toward its mission of educating, elevating, and empowering the Sherman Oaks community to develop equitable solutions for housed and unhoused neighbors.

The Human Services next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21. Following that, Human Services will meet on the first Monday of every month, beginning with October 3, 2022.

SONC's Movies in the Park Series
On July 23, SONC, spearheaded by the Outreach Committee and in partnership with Council District 4, held its second of three free film screenings at Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park with Ghostbusters Afterlife. We were pleased to see so many of you there with us and hoped you enjoyed the film, as well as Recreation & Parks' popcorn and other refreshments. Our final movie night this summer will be Saturday, August 20.

Our film selection for August 20, based on your suggestions from our earlier screenings, will be the animated musical feature Sing 2. Please be sure to visit SONC's website at for updates.

Reaffirming Our Dedication to Inclusive Reproductive Healthcare Rights
At the July board meeting, SONC adopted an amended motion to support two council files positioning the City of Los Angeles to preserve or assist in the accessibility of access to reproductive and abortion rights. Prior to passage, the SONC Board voted to amend the original motion so as to adopt gender-inclusive language in the motion correspondence to better reflect the diverse community of people who may become pregnant, including but not limited to women, transgender and non-binary individuals, third gender, and two-spirit people.

Hillside Wildlife Ordinance
Having reviewed the City's proposed draft wildlife ordinance, the Government Affairs Committee suggested the City Planning department delay its CPC Hearing until such time as the community can reasonably review the ordinance and its ramifications. The Wildlife Pilot Study encompasses the majority of SONC Areas 6 and 7 in the hills of Sherman Oaks.

Beat the Heat
As the temperatures climb over the summer, the County of Los Angeles has prepared a resource page with helpful tips for dealing with extreme heat. The County has also designated the Sherman Oaks Martin Pollard Branch Library at 14245 Moorpark Street as a "cooling center": the Library is a public indoor, air-conditioned space for stakeholders seeking a break from the heat. Additional cooling centers may become available in the event of further excessive heat. The federal government has also set up the website with national and regional heat forecasts and resources.

Thank you for your interest and involvement in the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, and in issues affecting us locally. I encourage you to visit and explore our committee pages, as well as the master calendar to view and discover how to attend and provide comment at SONC's public meetings.

Stay safe, keep cool, and be kind to one another,
Upcoming SONC Meetings:
To view webinar details, please visit the SONC calendar.
August 1st, 2022 6:30pm

August 2nd, 2022, 6:00pm

August 3rd, 2022 9:00pm

August 4th, 2022, 6:30pm

August 8th, 2022, 6:30pm

August 9th, 2022, 6:30pm

August 10th, 2022 8:00pm
August 15th, 2022, 6:30pm

August 16th, 2022, 7pm

August 18th, 2022, 6:30pm

August 23rd, 2022, 7pm

August 24th, 2022, 6:30pm

page links for meeting agendas and to confirm dates & times.
The next SONC Board Meeting will take place on Monday August eighth 2022 at six thirty PM
Sherman Oaks Area Map displaying 7 areas
Not sure what area you live in and who your
Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council representative is? Email with your address or cross-streets with the navigational direction --
we will help you out!

Virtual SONC Meetings – Join Us

On March 12, 2020, the City of Los Angeles, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, suspended all meetings, activities, and events of SONC. In May 2020, SONC began to hold “virtual” meetings. These “virtual” meetings are held by way of video teleconferences using the Zoom platform. 

Information about the meetings and how to “join in” is available on the SONC website: Please give us your feedback and comments. 
Monday August 8th, 2022 -- SONC Board Meeting

The agenda will be available on August 5th, 2022 on the SONC website, A physical copy can always be found on the bulletin board at the Sherman Oaks Public Library.

To join SONC's monthly virtual board meetings:

By Telephone:
1-669-900-6833, enter 85140543942 #

By the Internet:
(1) Follow link:
(2) Press “Enter”

Or from a Zoom “Enter the Meeting” Screen:
(1) Enter the Webinar ID: 85140543942
(2) Press “Enter”
(3) Enter your Email Address and Your Name, and
(4) Press “Enter”

Should you have technical questions or issues, please email

Did you miss a previous SONC Meeting
that you wanted to attend?
SONC meetings that are conducted using the Zoom Video-teleconferencing platform are now being recorded for playback. All recorded meetings are playable by clicking the associated meeting date links found on the committee page on the SONC website.
SONC's Summer Movie Series In The Park
Save the Date: August 20th, 2022!
SONC Committee Updates
SONC Outreach Committee
Harold Shapiro, Chair
Harold Shapiro Area ^ Community Interest Advocate
The final film in the SONC Summer Movie Series will be screened on August 20th, 2022. SONC is proud to present the Universal Studios and Illumination Productions 2021 Animated feature "Sing 2". The screening will take place on the ball field closest to Hazeltine Ave. at the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks War Memorial Park, 14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks, 91423. The movie will begin when the sun goes down, most likely around 8:00 PM. The screening is free and everyone is encouraged to come early, bring a picnic dinner, and lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. There will be some pre-screening entertainment, beginning at 6:00 PM.

The most recent film in the Ghostbusters series titled Ghostbusters Afterlife was the second film in the SONC Summer Movie Series and screened on July 23rd. Some photos from the event are published here.
Coordinating the SONC Summer Movie Series Screening of Ghostbusters Afterlife (L to R) Howard Katchen, CD4 Assistant Community Education Coordinator Brianna Thorpe, Neal Roden, Lindsay Imber, Pamela Harris, Sherman Oaks CD4 Field Rep Ryan Ahari, City Councilmember Nithya Raman, Stacey Segarra-Bohlinger, Thelma Mericle, Cheryl Shapiro, Susan Collins, Harold Shapiro, Christy Adair, Jeffrey Hartsough.

The Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce will be conducting the Street Fair on October 16th. This is the first time since 2019, as the pandemic caused its cancellation. SONC will have a booth at the fair and is looking forward to seeing our stakeholders face to face again.

October 29th marks the 20th anniversary of certification for the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council as part of the City of Los Angeles' Neighborhood Council system. Neighborhood Councils are the closest form of government to the people. They are advisory bodies, who advocate for their communities with City Hall on important issues like development, homelessness, and emergency preparedness. Neighborhood Council board members are City officials who are elected by the members of their local communities, but they donate their time as volunteers.

The Outreach Committee is continuing its pre-planning efforts for the 2023 Neighborhood Council elections that kick off in November. SONC is seeking a slate of candidates to contend for 10 seats across areas 2, 4, and 6 as well as 1 currently vacant seat in Area 1. If you are interested in running for a seat, please continue to watch this space or visit our web site to keep informed of the application filing deadlines. In 2022-23, the City Clerk will be using a hybrid election model for NC elections that provides for both in-person polling place voting as well as the option to Vote-By-Mail. Voting deadline for SONC elections will be Thursday, June 22, 2023.

The SONC Outreach Committee meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month. Please join us for our next Virtual meeting on August 16th. For the details on how to access the Virtual Meeting on the Zoom Platform, please visit the SONC Outreach Committee web page.
SONC Planning & Land Use Committee
and Vision Sub-Committee
Jeff Kalban, Chair
The next meeting of the Vision Committee is August 4th. Senior City Planner David Olivo and his Community Plan Update team will be joining us to discuss the Ventura-Cahuenga Specific Plan revisions they are proposing.

Please join us, this will be a look at the initial concepts the City has for the future of Ventura Blvd.

The next Planning and Land Use (PLUM) meeting will be September 15, we are dark in August.

Please join us and attend our virtual meetings. Vision meets at 6:30 on the first Thursday of the month and PLUM at 6:30 on the third Thursday.

To access the next Virtual Meeting on the Zoom Platform,
please see the PLUM/Vision Committee web page for updates and agendas.
SONC Green & Sustainability Committee
Kathy Shaffer
Committee Member
California native plants require much less water, attract pollinators, protect your ecosystem, and look beautiful. Now is the time to think about replacing your (dying) lawn and replace it with native plants.

LADWP offers turf replacement rebates of $3 per square foot (with pre-approval). There are many resources available online to view thousands of plant options and garden designs. Discard any of your negative pre-conceived notions about native plant gardens and help save our environment and resources.

Check out these websites for more information: (type “turf replacement” in the search bar)
Our Green & Sustainability Committee meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month. Please join us for our next Virtual meeting on August 3rd to help with local and city wide issues.

To access this Virtual Meeting on the Zoom Platform: please visit the Green and Sustainability Committee web page for agendas and webinar info.

SONC Public Safety Committee
Christy Adair, Chair
The Public Safety Committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, August 9th, 2022 at 7:00pm. The SONC Public Safety Committee is proud to introduce Carolina Goodman and Alejandra Aguierre of Community Alternatives to 911-San Fernando Valley (CAT911-SFV) who will be presenting a unique approach to community safety in our neighborhood.
Community safety starts with us! In response to LAPD's continued requests that government and communities step-up to provide appropriate services where officers are not qualified, such as: issues of homelessness, mental illness, or drug addiction.

The CAT911-SFV will present successful strategies already in place around the Nation and here in Los Angeles such as Ready Your L.A. Neighborhood (RYLAN) and Neighborhood Watch which do help make communities safer.

Studies show that when neighbors know each other beyond a friendly wave, the community becomes stronger. Join us on Tuesday, August 9, at 7pm, as we discuss how Sherman Oaks can become more resilient.

Note, these conversations will be uploaded to

To access the next meeting:
Online from a PC, Tablet or the Zoom App on your smartphone: Click or Cut and Paste
Press “Enter”

By Telephone: Dial 1-669-900-6833, Enter Webinar ID 842 7040 8817, and Press #

Or on the Zoom join meeting screen enter Webinar ID: 842 7040 8817

If you have any questions, please email us at:

For more details on how to join the virtual video tele-conference meetings, please visit the SONC Public Safety Committee web page.

LAFD CERT and the LAPD Senior Lead Officers for the Sherman Oaks area will be at the Sherman Oaks Galleria celebrating the National Night Out on Tuesday August 2nd, 2022.

Please stop by and visit with our SLO's anytime between 6:00pm and 7:30pm.

It's a fun, festive national event - and there'll be some swag from different booths.
Budget Advocates
Howard Katchen
The Budget Advocates held its annual Budget Day on Saturday, June 18th. The event was well attended by neighborhood council members and stakeholders from throughout the city. The plenary session provided information about the city budget, how it is formulated and provided an opportunity to hear from city senior administrative staff and elected officials.
Following were regional breakout sessions which provided those in attendance to give feedback on the budget and discuss issues in their community and city services. A recording and transcript of the day’s proceedings is available here:

The Budget Advocates meetings are open to all and to those wishing to join when engaging with city departments on operational and budget reviews. You can find further information about the Budget Advocates at:

SONC Finance Committee
Jeffrey Hartsough, Treasurer
The City of Los Angeles’s Fiscal Year 2022 ended on June 30. SONC is in the process of establishing a budget for Fiscal Year 2023. SONC won’t have its final budget number until sometime in August.

Last year SONC was able to support several of our community groups and schools through Neighborhood Purposes Grants (NPG). You can find out more about NPGs on the SONC Website by Clicking Here – NPG Info.

Thank you for being an engaged and supportive member of our Sherman Oaks community and of the San Fernando Valley.

The SONC Finance Committee meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month. The next meeting will be August 24th at 6:30pm. Please visit the Finance Committee web page for more details on how to participate.

As we continue to confront the ongoing pandemic and all the daily challenges and complexities of life in Los Angeles, please be respectful and kind to others. Kindness is important.
Stay safe. Pray for Ukraine.
Jeffrey Hartsough
SONC Human Services Committee
Pamela Harris, Co-Chair
Sarah Manuel, Co-Chair
Please join SONC's inaugural Human Services Committee meeting on Monday, August 1, 2022 at 6:30p via Zoom. Councilmember Nithya Raman will be presenting the committee to the community along with special guests from CD4’s Homeless Liaison Team, to present how they are helping the Sherman Oaks community and our unhoused neighbors. Looking forward to your participation.

We want to hear from you! Please fill out the questionnaire if you are interested in joining the committee and helping the underserved in your community.

Visit Human Services Committee page for more information.
SONC Human Services Committee Backpack Drive Donations being accepted at the August 20th Movie in The Park
Are you a high school student who resides within the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council (SONC) boundaries ( Do you want to be involved in the Sherman Oaks community as a Youth Representative on the SONC Board and as a member of a SONC committee of your choice? We want to hear from you! We currently have an open position which will serve until June 30, 2023. Visit SONC’s website ( to learn more about SONC and its committees. Contact Howard M. Katchen at to express your interest, with questions or for further information. We look forward to hearing from all eligible and interested high school students.
Subscribe to SONC's 
Early Notification System via the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to receive all agendas for council meetings and committee meetings.
This next section contains information from CD4, LAUSD, Sherman Oaks Library and all our partner organizations that are seeking volunteers. Stay informed and share!
Here is what's happening in the neighborhood
The Office of District 4 Councilmember Nithya Raman provides Sherman Oaks with a dedicated field deputy to handle resident and business owner issues at the city level. Ryan Ahari is the Sherman Oaks Field Deputy, and also services Van Nuys. You can always reach Ryan through his CD4 web page here and Ryan's email address is:

In addition to contacting Ryan, for any issues related to homelessness anywhere within Council District 4, you can contact Senior Homelessness Deputy Sarah Tanberg ( or Homelessness Deputy Josh Scarcella (
Los Angeles Unified School District Office of Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson
Summer school is in full swing here at LA Unified with upwards of 100,000 students participating in our summer school programs.

LAUSD is also supporting LA City’s free grab&go lunch program, which is available at parks across the city through August 9, 2022. To learn more about this resource, please visit:

Non-profits interested in participating in LAUSD’s food donation program in the 2022-23 school year are now invited to submit an application. Leveled at reducing food waste, this initiative allows vetted organizations to pick-up and distribute unused food from their local LAUSD school site(s). Interested organizations may click here to learn more and direct any questions to

The District has unveiled its 2022-26 Strategic Plan. You may learn more and review by visiting

Please direct any questions or scheduling inquiries to (213) 241-8333. And for regular updates, you may sign-up for Board District 3’s newsletter, which is available in English and Spanish. Click here to view the latest edition.
Wishing you all a safe and joyful summer
Sherman Oaks Martin Pollard Branch Public Library Updates:
STEAM Maker Cart Program

Kids of all ages came out to the Sherman Oaks Library to participate in a STEAM program called 'Parachutes, Gravity and Air Resistance', facilitated by Hayden Ranshaw and Jiyen Northan.

Hayden and Jiyen applied for and obtained a Neighborhood Purposes grant from the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council for the purchase of a Maker Cart. This wonderful cart is a tool that furthers the advancement of science for children and teens at the library.
STEAM Maker Cart at the Sherman Oaks Library
STEAM programs fill an important gap in education today. The acronym, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, combines subjects known to increase critical thinking and problem-solving skills through unique hands-on learning opportunities. STEAM is an educational discipline that aims to spark an interest and lifelong love of the arts and sciences in children from an early age.

The July 27th program included an egg drop where participants had to brainstorm a concept that would keep the egg intact when it was dropped from various heights. This allowed the children to modify their design based on trial and error. Good news! Only one egg perished during the program!
Sherman Oaks Public Library STEAM Maker Cart Project to drop eggs with parachutes
The Staff and Patrons want to profoundly thank the Neighborhood Council and Hayden & Jiyen for the generosity and time commitment.

Future STEAM Maker Program events for kids are in the works. Kids will be introduced to engineering and science concepts to work and explore with various materials and to build exciting, fun and educational projects. Registration is required. Sign up at the information desk, email the branch at, or call 818-205-9716.

Throughout the summer the library will continue to conduct its monthly calendar of events for children, teens and adults as well.

Here is the link for our branch happenings:

For more information contact Meredith McGowan, Senior Librarian
Los Angeles City Planning
Wildlife Ordinance
City Planning is currently analyzing potential changes to the Draft Wildlife Ordinance and incorporating feedback received from public comment. The draft Wildlife District Ordinance proposes new development standards for lot coverage, landscaping, and fencing, as well as grading and height limitations, among others. It would create a new Wildlife Supplemental Use District (WLD) and apply those supplemental regulations to properties in the area of the Santa Monica Mountains approximately bounded by the 405 and 101 freeways and Ventura Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard.

The Department will continue to accept comments on the proposed ordinance through August 22 at 5 p.m., prior to the City Planning Commission’s consideration of the proposed ordinance. Visit the project website for the July 13 public hearing recording, FAQs the latest developments, the draft ordinance, and more information here. Residents in these areas are encouraged to view the recorded presentation that was shared at the virtual information session, which is now available in Outreach & Events.

Community Plan Updates
The City is currently updating three Community Plans in the Southeast San Fernando Valley. These plans cover Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood, Valley Village, Studio City, Toluca Lake, the Cahuenga Pass, and Van Nuys. The existing plan for Sherman Oaks was created over 20 years ago in 1998. The updated new plan concepts are the initial vision for how this valley corridor will grow and change over the next 20 years. City Planning does want input and feedback on the plan from business owners and residents. Community participation and input are essential to ensuring the quality and effectiveness of the Community Plans. The Planning Dept. is currently conducting virtual office visits using Google Meet for individuals or groups of up to 8 people at a time that wish to provide feedback. Please visit the virtual office hours meeting reservation page here to book a session.

For more information about the Community Plan update visit:
Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project
Metro continues to plan in its attempts to discover viable transit option solutions that will make it easier to get from/to the San Fernando Valley and LA's Westside. The natural barrier created by the Santa Monica Mountains makes traveling between the Valley and the Westside challenging and as we all know, the 405 freeway is one of the worst places to be in your car during morning and evening rush hours. Metro is working to evaluate the impact of a high-quality, reliable transit service option using a high-speed rail system connecting the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

The project is currently in the environmental review phase which will consist of two components: 1) preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); and 2) preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the national Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

For more information about feedback received during the project scoping period, view the project’s Scoping Summary Report. Metro plans to host a community update in Fall 2022 focused on alignments and station locations.

To learn more about the project, visit the website
Free Sustainability Webinars From
the Los Angeles County
Dept. of Public Works
The LA County Dept. of Public Works is still offering its series of free webinars to beautify your home and garden during through September 2022. The Smart Gardening Webinars are approximately 45 minutes long followed by a 15-minute period to answer questions and take orders for compost bins. For those who are unable to attend, they have posted videos of the sessions. There are four core subjects being offered:

Intro to Composting: Learn about backyard and worm composting to create a rich soil amendment to nourish your garden.

Water-wise Gardening: Create a beautiful drought-tolerant landscape and learn about grasscycling to fortify your lawn.

Organic Gardening: Build healthy soil, grow herbs and vegetables, and address plant pests and diseases using organic methods.

Small-space Gardening: Learn to grow plants in containers and set up a small-space worm composting system.

For more information and to register on-line, visit their website:
Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power is Offering Free Landscaping Design Services to Transform Your Turf
Are you interested in saving water and money on your bill? As an LADWP customer, you can get free landscape design services for transforming your landscape to be more drought tolerant. The design can be submitted along with your turf replacement rebate application. Planting and irrigation plans are provided at no cost to LADWP customers who wish to remove turf and replace it with low water use California Friendly® and native plants. The rebates for removing lawns and water hungry plantings are still in effect. With the coming hot summer months, and new watering rules going into effect, the time is right to replace.

The provided plans can be given directly to a licensed contractor for installation and also included is a simple guide on how to best hire a landscape contractor. The plans will include a storm water capture feature, such as a rain garden, in the design. Irrigation plans include use of water efficient drip irrigation systems.

Your newly installed garden will capture and reuse stormwater, recharge groundwater, prevent polluted runoff from flowing to the rivers and ocean, and provide food and habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Once your newly installed plants have been established, you will see the savings on your water bill.

To learn more about this free design program and to apply, visit the LADWP web site at:
Volunteer Opportunities:
Volunteer with NHIFP

Take advantage of helping out your community.

North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry is looking for volunteers.

To sign up, please visit:
LA Regional Food Bank

If you are interested in volunteering with the LA Regional Food Bank, please visit this link.
Questions, concerns, please email: 
L.A. Works

Join L.A. Works and learn about all the volunteer opportunities available here in our great City of Los Angeles!

Facebook - @laworks 
Twitter - @LAWorksNow 
Instagram - @laworksnow
Please visit
Volunteer with
The Valley of Change

The Valley of Change presents a volunteer opportunity on the Second Saturday of the month from 8:30 - 11:30 AM.

For more information please visit:

Stay connected:
Twitter: @ValleyChange
Van Nuys Neighborhood Watch news
Get Involved In Your Community
If you are interested in becoming a Block Captain and starting a Neighborhood Watch Program in your neighborhood, please contact your Senior Lead Officer at the email addresses or phone numbers listed below to obtain further details. There are 4 senior lead officers assigned for all of Sherman Oaks:

Jose Saldana
(818) 731-2565

Mariana Romo
(818) 731-2563

Joel Gutierrez
(818) 731-2560

Kristan DeLatori
(818) 731-2562

Please sign up on to receive current updates about crime trends and events in your community.

You can contact Alan Scher for more information about the Neighborhood Watch Program.

The August edition of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Watch News is available to read online here.
Interested in Joining the LAPD Volunteer Program?

Make a difference as an LAPD volunteer and be the change you want to see in your community. Volunteers represent a broad range of ages, from teenagers to senior citizens. As a volunteer, here are some of the available opportunities:

  • Promoting Safety with business communities
  • Front Desk Operations
  • Traffic Safety Outreach
  • Clerical and administrative support
  • Safe Passage to Schools
  • Community Members on Patrol
  • Vacation Checks
  • Detective Support
  • Variety of other important functions

For information on volunteer opportunities with the LAPD, email Officer Jason Jimenez in the Community Relations Office at, or call (818) 374-5420. You can also get more information about the LAPD Volunteer Program by visiting this link.
National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

National Night Out is celebrated by millions of neighbors across thousands of communities.

This is an awareness program to spread goodwill and create long-standing bonds between local citizens, law enforcement, and society. This day also serves to encourage participation and support in anti-crime programs.
Then & Now... the Changing Face of Sherman Oaks
5043 Van Nuys Blvd. in Sherman Oaks has served as the location of several restaurants situated in a highly recognizable Googie Style building that was originally constructed in 1958.

Googie architecture is a type of futurist architecture influenced by California car culture, jets, the Space Age, and the Atomic Age. It originated in Southern California with the Streamline Moderne architecture of the 1930's, and was popular in the United States from roughly 1945 to the early 1970's.

This particular Googie-themed structure originally opened as Stanley Burke’s Coffee Shop. It was designed by innovative LA Master architects Louis Armét, Eldon Davis and Helen Fong. The firm Armet and Davis, became very well known for working in the Googie architecture style that marks several distinctive coffee shops and eateries in Southern California. Other eateries designed by the firm include the original Norm's Restaurant location on La Cienega Blvd., Mel's Diner (originally Kerry's Coffee shop) on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, Johnie's Coffee Shop located on the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire, Twains Restaurant (now Sharky's Wood Fire Grill) on the corner of Ventura Blvd. & Coldwater Canyon and the Bob's Big Boy drive-in that was located in Chula Vista, CA.

In the 1950's, Stanley Burke operated a popular chain of Drive-In restaurants with neon and carhops called Stan’s at multiple locations spreading from Hollywood to Bakersfield. This upscale valley coffee shop soon added a cocktail lounge known for its live music and a banquet room that became a key gathering place for charities and local civic organization activities in the new suburbs called Sherman Oaks that rapidly expanded and developed in the areas located to the north of the Hollywood Freeway.

In 1964, Martin Cable, a manager for Burke, took over operations and the restaurant's name was changed to Corky's, after a family pet. It became a staple on Van Nuys Blvd. for kids and car owners to hang out at, especially on Saturday nights, when cruising the Boulevard became a popular pastime. They stayed open 24/7. During the 1970's, the 'Piano Man' himself, Billy Joel, appeared and performed at the restaurant's adjacent Cork lounge.

In the 1980's, after 25 years in operation, Corky’s underwent another name change to become the Lamplighter. George Metsos and his sister, Sophia Rohde, operated the Lamplighter restaurants in the San Fernando Valley. The original location was in North Hollywood for many years. It was opened by their parents Peter and Elaine. Another Lamplighter Restaurant was in Chatsworth, and the family also owned Patys restaurant on Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake.

The name Lamplighter remained until 2010 when the restaurant and lounge on Van Nuys Blvd. underwent remodeling and a name reversion. Original classic features were restored and a prominent new lighted Corky’s sign was put in place. Over the years Corky’s was utilized as a production site for TV commercials, television shows and films. These, included 2010’s “A Nightmare On Elm Street,” and 2017's “Happy Death Day.”

As the result of a lease dispute between the Metsos family and the Fuller family who have been the property owners since the 1950's, Corky's closed its doors for good in December of 2019. After 6 decades of existence at this location, several Sherman Oaks residents became concerned that any new tenants would demolish this unique structure, and a petition was circulated to have the building declared an historical cultural site. Close to 8,000 signatures were obtained.

Features of Googie include upswept roofs, curvilinear, geometric shapes, and bold use of glass, steel and neon. Googie was also characterized by Space Age designs symbolic of motion, such as boomerangs, flying saucers, diagrammatic atoms and parabolas, and free-form designs such as "soft" parallelograms and an artist's palette motif. These stylistic conventions represented American society's fascination with Space Age themes and marketing emphasis on futuristic designs. Probably the most noted building designed in this style in the Los Angeles area is the iconic Space Age structure at Los Angeles International Airport called the LAX Theme Building that resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. As with the Art Deco style of the 1910's–1930's, Googie became less valued as time passed, and many buildings in this style have been destroyed. Some examples have been preserved, though, such as the oldest McDonald's stand (located in Downey, California).

The former Corky's property on Van Nuys Blvd. fell into significant distress after the restaurant's closure. The property was subsequently leased by a petitioner who wanted to open a Chick-Fil-A restaurant on the site. Through the efforts of several local organizations, including the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council's Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee, SOHA, the community neighboring the project and CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman’s office, the applicant and the community reached a compromise that will establish a new restaurant in a beautifully restored, original historic structure with all its original Googie charm, at this location.
Get Involved!
What interests you?

If you live, work, own property, own a business or belong to a non-profit organization, school or religious institution in Sherman Oaks, you are a stakeholder in Sherman Oaks. We hold monthly Board of Directors and various committee meetings which you are invited to attend to learn about and participate in your community. Join SONC's Mailing List today.