The Alfreton branch is a current Little Chef restaurant located on the A38 near Alfreton, Derbyshire.
Built as a proper service area, it is located just off a busy roundabout at the grade separated junction of the A38 and A61 near Alfreton and not far from the M1 motorway.
The site was first planned in the 1980s by Motorway Services giant Granada as part of their plan to expand into the A-roads. It was going to be a service area called Swanwick which was due to open in 1988/9. However, by the time it opened Granada had changed their plan slightly and instead decided to have it as one of their 3 star hotels and the name was changed to Alfreton. It boasted a hotel with integrated restaurant as well as a filling station so it effectively did the job of a scaled down services. Other similar sites followed at Stoke on Trent, Sheffield and Park Hall (Charnock Richard). However, by 1994 Granada decided to sell off three of these smaller services come hotel sites at Alfreton, Sheffield and Stoke on Trent to focus on its core portfolio and Forte took them over. The restaurants became Little Chefs and the hotels became Travelodges. In the case of Alfreton, the restaurant space is very different from the average Little Chef, probably due to its origins as a hotel restaurant, with a high roof and pretty much entirely glazed frontage up to the gables and roofline. This makes it feel very light, airy and spacious.
Ironically, after deciding to get rid of them, Granada then ended up inheriting the sites back as part of its takeover of Forte a year later and, now with its hands on both Little Chef and Travelodge, it wasted no time installing a Burger King at Alfreton as well. However, by the mid 2000s this had gone.
Today, the Little Chef soldiers on successfully and, with new owners Kout Food Group at the helm, it has got its Burger King back as well.