A walk-up, automated machine that dispenses bread, instead of bread: While you may think there’s no need (or no knead, ahem) for such a thing, a French baker named Jean-Louis Hecht has gone ahead and installed two machines that allow customers to buy warm (but precooked) baguettes from his boulangeries at any time, even when his shop is closed. This comes in most handy late at night, apparently, when bar-hopping drunk people mistake the machines for ATMs. (Jim Lahey’s going to be so jealous when he hears about this.)
Hecht, who thought of the idea after years of living above the bakery with people “knocking at his home after closing to scrounge for a baguette to hold them until morning,” claims this is the future of baguettes. (He may not know France’s McDonald’s are adding baguettes and jam to their menus next month.) In the meantime, however, New York is already a city filled with Plexiglas barriers and elaborate, all-hours, pass-through windows — why not get one installed here for all those late-night bread cravings?