Atomic Café

Photo by Bibbe Hansen

Located at 422 East First Street in the downtown Los Angeles Little Tokyo District, the diner was opened by Ito and Minoru Matoba in 1946 and reflected the period’s pop-culture obsession with the newly emerging atomic age. In 1977, after daughter “Atomic” Nancy Sekizawa began taking over management of the café, she covered the walls with Punk Rock posters and fliers and turned it into a hangout for punk rock fans and musicians. It laid claim to having the only punk rock jukebox in Los Angeles. The café took on an eclectic blend of Japanese and Punk culture.

The café closed in 1989 and the brick building in which it was housed was demolished in 2015.