125-flavor Coke machine makes its Chattanooga debut

125-flavor Coke machine makes its Chattanooga debut

July 5th, 2011 by Ellis Smith in Local - Breaking News

Drink cartridges sit on a shelf near a new soft drink machine Tuesday at Taco Mac. The machine can mix custom blends of soft drinks and flavors.

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

Downtown's Taco Mac restaurant unveiled a new Coca-Cola dispenser today that offers customers 125 different Coke products in assorted mixes and flavors.

The new touchscreen machine is the first of its kind in Chattanooga, and bolsters Taco Mac's non-alcoholic offerings from six originally.

A new specialized soft drink menu offers dozens of variations on popular beverages, such as Raspberry Coke or Peach Sprite, in addition to unusual drinks like carbonated Dasani water.

The general public won't be able to directly interact with the device, which is crew-serve only. Instead, customers will order from a colorful chart which lists all the possible drinks and variations.

However, a self-serve version should be available in Chattanooga within 30 to 45 days, said Coke representative Dan Redler.

The soft drink machine can also "call home" to Coke for new recipes, which are mixed on the spot and poured through a spout that uses technology derived from the medical field to avoid mixing flavors, Redler said.

"If you pour a Coke, then pour a Dasani, the water won't like taste like Coke or be brown," said Bruce Skala, vice president of marketing for Tappan Street Restaurant Group, which owns Taco Mac.

"This machine makes us a destination point for families."

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315.