The Black Cat branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located at the busy Black Cat Roundabout serving the A1 and A421 roads near Wyboston, Bedfordshire.
Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: Black Cat Roundabout, Wyboston, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK44 3BE
ONSITE FACILITIES: Shell, Deli2Go (forecourt), Costa Express (forecourt), EG Diner, Travelodge (Book Room)
The site was first built in the late 80s by Little Chef's rival chain, Kelly's Kitchen. The site was a joint venture between a Brewing Company, who operated the restaurant, and Petrofina, an oil company who operated the forecourt. This was one of 18 Kelly's Kitchens/ Petrofina sites operating across the UK. Other sites included Crewe (A500), Seaton Burn (A1), Lincoln (A46) and Beacon Hill (A14). Kelly's Kitchen restaurants were very distinctive, housed inside a building with an overhanging roof, cottage styled windows and a large funnel-like chimney built into the site and the roof.
In 1989/90, Forte were on the hunt to expand the Little Chef chain and decided to buy out Kelly's Kitchen and rebrand all 18 restaurants as Little Chef. By 1992, Forte had added a Travelodge to the site giving them the dream combo. By 1995 Granada got their hands on Forte and added a Burger King to the site, although this later closed.
In 2011, the Little Chef received the 'Wonderfully British' refurbishment along with 9 other sites. Wonderfully British was the follow-on, slightly tweaked version of the "Hestonised" site with slightly different interior finishes, new branding (Charlie lost his tray and instead had his arms open to welcome visitors) and Little Chef's new "grab and go" take-away option known as Good to Go.
In 2014, there were plans for a Burger King outlet to be resurrected by Kout Food Group. However, this never materialised
Following the takeover by Euro Garages in 2017, Black Cat was one of a number sites converted to an EG Diner in January 2018. This is due to the expiration of Euro Garages' right to use the Little Chef brand name. These sites are likely to be re-branded as another brand at a later date.