David Satel’s business on San Fernando Road has become a shrine to
the vintage years of soda pop cans and bottles and the wonders of
modern vending machines.
On one side of Satel’s showroom are old red, shiny Coca-Cola and
Pepsi vending machines that Satel has collected and restored over the
years. On another side are state-of-the-art machines with modern
technical gadgetry, cash acceptors and change dispensers.
David’s Vending, at 800 S. San Fernando Blvd., turns 30 this
month, and Satel is still dispensing an encyclopedic knowledge of the
soda business and the machines that dispense them.
“You need to know who makes the machine to know what it is about,”
Satel said as he stood next to a dispenser he restored.
The knowledge of companies like Pepsi and Coke has allowed Satel
to grow his business from repairing machines in the backyard of his
Burbank home to restoring, renting and selling new and used vending
machines to celebrities and studios among other customers.
For example, an old shiny, blue Pepsi machine in Satel’s showroom
was sold to him by a man who simply wanted to get rid of it. At
first, Satel was going to salvage its parts. But after some producers
saw it and rented it for the “Back to the Future” movie set, Satel
realized the value of vintage items and machines that could be used
“In the movie ‘Terminator II,’ remember when the security guard
was getting a cup of coffee at a machine and The Terminator stuck his
finger through his forehead?” Satel asked. “That was my vending
But along with his antique and restored machines, Satel has a
healthy stock of new ones he distributes for manufacturers.
“I’m all about tomorrow’s technology while my dad is playing with
antique technology,” said Satel’s son, David Jr.
The elder Satel, though, said he is interested in new technology
and eagerly awaits the day when vending machines controlled with cell
phones, satellites and computer modems are commonplace.
But as long as there is a market, he’ll continue to restore
machines."It’s exciting and it’s different,” he said.