We thought you might enjoy Edible Manhattan‘s look back at the Automat; we did.
One of our great regrets is that we can’t take our tour guests for a spin through an Automat.
Alas, the last one closed in 1991.
But they remain alive in our memory. There were two or three remaining when we arrived in New York in 1982, and we managed to grab lunch at one (though just once, to our undying regret).
By the time of our visit, the Automats were pretty dismal spots, attracting more destitute unfortunates than working Joes and Jills. We don’t recall much about the food we ate that day, which leads us to believe it must have been fine, if unexceptionable (surely we’d recall if it had been truly objectionable).
Still, we can proudly state that we once ate at an Automat, something that many tens of thousands of newer New Yorkers, not to mention the tourists who flock to our great city by the millions, are unable to claim, so that’s of small comfort.