Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: Barthomley Road, Barthomley, Crewe, Cheshire, CW2 5PT
ONSITE FACILITIES: Shell, Deli2Go (forecourt), Costa Express (forecourt), EG Diner, Burger King, 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 examples included Black Cat (A1), 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. Pictures of the site soon after construction had finished show the Little Chef branding on the site, suggesting that it may never actually have become a Kelly's site, even the construction was planned by them. 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.
Due to its prime location off a motorway junction with a busy A-road, the Crewe site is busy everyday and, despite the lack of motorway signage, it acts as a motorway service station for the nearby M6. Plus, current owners Kout Food Group have now re-opened the Burger King, so there is even more potential for attracting customers.
In 2017, Euro Garages took over the Little Chef chain and throughout the year, a majority of the restaurants were converted into brands such as Starbucks and Subway. By January 2018, only half of the Little Chef restaurants remaining were converted, leaving around 35 to 40 Little Chefs still trading. Due to Euro Garages being unable to use the Little Chef name after 31st January 2018, they had to think of an option to quickly convert the remaining restaurants. This was when EG Diner was born and Crewe was one of the first of these to open. However, these EG Diners at the moment are literally just unbranded Little Chefs with the EG Diner menu. The remaining Little Chefs are expected to follow the same path, although some will only be open for a short period of time, as they have further plans to be replaced by other brands.