In case you hadn’t noticed, the fast-foot Mexican chain Taco Bell is establishing beach heads on the island of Manhattan. The newest addition, which is slated to open in Times Square, picks up on another recent trend: the return of the Automat.
According to the New York Post, the fast-food joint and bar will use “automated kiosks to take food orders — but it will still serve booze the old-fashioned way.” The restaurant, which appears to trade on the restrictions on human interaction which has become second-nature during the pandemic, will feature 10 kiosks where customers place their orders and pay. The wall opposite is home to a matrix of locked cubbies that dispense tacos, burritos, and chips.
Unfortunately, the coin-operated machines that were at the heart of the Automat M.O. back in the Horn & Hardart days are destined to remain a relic of a bygone era.