17 August 2006

Automat Returns!

Well, sort of.

A new, would-be chain called Bamn! (is that a profane version of "Bam!"?), which uses the basic automat format, is due to open on St. Mark's Place in the East Village. It has nothing really to do with the once-great, long-lamented Horn and Hardart empire, where coins opened cute little art deco doors and released pie and stew and whatnot.

The creators actually modeled the restaurant, which they hope to be the first of many, on Febo, a Dutch chain. I've actually been to a Febo in Amsterdam. They're bright yellow and dispense fatty little savories like fried cheese croquettes filled with chunks of ham. Disgusting and tasty, and very Dutch. Bamn! (gotta love that name) plans to serve up grilled cheese, pizza dumplings and the like—stuff that will last a while. Quarters and silver dollars will be accepted. Finally! A use for those Sacagawea coins beyond making change in Metrocard machines.

Is this a good thing for New York? I say yes, if the place has any of the charm of the original Automats, and if the food is any good. All I know for now is that restaurant will be hot pink, which I'm not so crazy about. Also, there will be few seats, eliminating the sense of community the original Automats fostered. To that I can only say, Bamn!

1 comment:

Brooks of Sheffield said...
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