Blast from the past: Automat returns with a modern twist

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A blast from the past is making a return in New Jersey.

An automat, which was popular in the 1960s, is now serving up meals in Jersey City - but with some high-tech twists.

Automats make food like pie available through cubbyholes - just like Doris Day picked up from the automat in the movie "That Touch of Mink" in 1962.

"The idea is a broad assortment of food, comfort food," said Bob Baydale with Automat Kitchen.

Baydale is one of the owners of the brand new Automat Kitchen in Jersey City. He remembers going as a kid.

"I got such a kick out of it - they had these dolphin heads where the coffee came out and so I didn't drink coffee but I sure had a nickel for coffee," Baydale said.

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The contactless food is made for this time of COVID, but it's actually been in development for more than 10 years.

People can order online or at little kiosks and the food is fresh. For example there is salmon, sandwiches and roast chicken.

Baydale says it isn't fast food, but it's fresh food fast.

And so the automat is back and what was old is new again -- repurposed -- and you can even get juices.

Back in the 1950s, a pie at the automat was 20 cents. There isn't pie this time, but they do have Beignets - which are French donuts - and Belgian waffle sandwiches.

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