The Ecton West branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the westbound side of the A45 near Ecton, Northamptonshire.
Address and Onsite FacilitiesEdit
ADDRESS: A45 Westbound, Ecton, Northamptonshire, NN3 5LU
ONSITE FACILITIES: Esso
Initially, the restaurant at Ecton West started off as an AJ's family restaurant. The restuarant formed one half of a dual sided AJ's site, with Ecton East on the eastbound side forming the other half. Both restaurants opened in the late 80s/early 90s and they were housed inside of identical buildings with pitched roofs, large windows and red bricks. Both sites were also built alongside filling stations, which complimented the AJ's brand and helped to attract a larger audience.
In 1997/98, the AJ's at Ecton West was converted into a Little Chef restaurant. When Granada took over from Forte in 1996, they discovered that Little Chef was more profitable than AJ's, therefore they converted a majority of AJ's restaurants into Little Chefs. The remaining AJ's sites were converted into McDonald's. This was a similar case with the Happy Eater roadside restaurant chain, which again saw a majority of its sites converted into Little Chefs since the early 90s. Ecton East was also converted into a Little Chef by 1998.
The Little Chef at Ecton West was very short lived and it ceased trading by 2000. This was also the case with Ecton East. However, whereas Ecton East was soon replaced with a cafe known as Scoffer's, Ecton West saw no replacement. Over the years, the old restaurant began to deteriorate and by 2017, the building fell into disrepair. Not much other than debris remains inside the restaurant. However on the chalkboards above the servery, "Bread Rolls Only 49p!" is still displayed. Also, within the debris, a few smashed AJ's signs remain as well.
So a sad end to such a short lived branch with an undecided future.