The automat has returned with the grand opening of BAMN! Drawing a big crowd on St. Marks Pl. this evening, people lined up to experience the pre-fast food phenomenon of dropping a coin in a slot and having fresh hot food appear like magic. According to a surprisingly good New York Sun article, in the 1950s there were 180 automats in New York and Philadelphia, feeding 800,000 people a day such things as beef noodles with burgundy sauce. The last automat, in Times Square, closed in 1991. The 21st century version — complete with hot pink signagebamn1.jpg and even hotter concierges — will serve grilled cheese, pizza and dumplings with an Asian twist for $1.50-$2.50. Once the crowds disperse a little, I’ll give it a whirl and write up a review, which I’ll link to on Xlist (Now Playing…).

3 Responses to BAMN!

  1. Adam says:

    Strange – automats always seemed to me to be places that “seemed” efficient but really weren’t. I mean, the cut out service people and raise the resource requirements … sort of efficient in the wrong way, I think. *shrug*

  2. […] First there was the revival of the automat on St. Marks Pl. Now I see there is an iPod automat in the Atlanta airport (and probably others). Just swipe your credit card, pull open the door, and shazam, fresh hot tunes to go. […]

  3. Roger says:

    Looks really interesting. BUT the fare doesn’t sound anything like Automat food from the bygone days. they might want to try to have a few items reminiscent of those glorious days, even if they can’t replicate the prices. Like mac and cheese. And the other mac and cheese in a croc bowl with a “frank” on top. Or their famous pies. Do they have the coffee dispenser — the famous lion’s head with the handle that spat out just the perfect ouncage of coffee into the cup? The chopsteak was heaven, and so on. The recipes are even available to the public.

    Like yourself, I’ll try it after the crowd dies down. But I’m glad someone’s had the sensitivity to do this. Thanks. rfawcett

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