The vintage drink dispenser, which has been spitting out random cans with no known source of ownership for decades, now charges $1 a pop — up 25 cents from before.
Even the crusty Coke machine on Capitol Hill apparently had to raise its prices to keep up with the city’s ballooning growth.
Seattle’s “mystery” drink dispenser — a rare survivor of the neighborhood’s conversion from grunge hub to techie hot spot— now charges $1 a pop, up 25 cents from before.
From Mountain Dew White Out to pink lemonade Minute Maid, the vintage machine outside Broadway Locksmith on East John Street and 10th Avenue East has been spitting out random cans of sugary pop and juices for locals who crave spontaneity, with its six buttons all labeled “mystery,” attracting attention for neighborhood charm spanning the globe.
And an underlying theme of the intrigue is this: No one seems to know who stocks it.
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The identity of who owns the dispenser’s keys is unknown, even to the employees of the locksmith business, which lends electrical power and property to keep the mystery going.
“It gave me tab, a soda which brings back happy childhood memories,” one person wrote in November 2016 on a Facebook page dedicated to the machine, to which about 23,000 people subscribe. “I am the teensiest bit disappointed that my first — but surely not last — visi
It is unclear when exactly someone changed the rate, replacing a “75 cents” card on the front of the machine with one saying “1.00,” or their reason for doing so.
Seattle implemented a new, “sweetened-beverage” tax on sugary drinks this month, a standard rate of $.0175 per ounce.
Whoever is restocking the machine must be doing it outside normal daytime hours, Broadway Locksmith employees have said, during early mornings or weekends, when people at the shop aren’t around.
“I didn’t even know it (the price) was raised, to be honest,” said employee Eric Hayes Friday.
Broadway Locksmith has been at its current location, 918 E. John St., for about 30 years, and the machine has sat in front of it for about 20, according to employees.
Material from The Seattle Times archives is included in this report.