The Gate branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located at Gate Services on the A2 near Canterbury, Kent.
Opened in November 1983, Forte positioned this Little Chef in the perfect place. Not only was it positioned next to a busy dual carriageway which was prone to a lot of long distance traffic travelling from the Port of Dover to the rest of the UK, but it was also positioned right next to the large town of Canterbury so there was always the chance of attracting locals to the Little Chef as well as fellow travellers on the A2. The Little Chef was also built alongside a filling station and later a lodge which meant that there was always a high chance of attracting the extra custom to the restaurant from these facilities. It was basically the perfect Little Chef site in other words.
The Little Chef was housed inside a converted house, suggesting that along with many other roadside houses, inns and pubs, Forte bought this building from its previous owners in order to turn it into a Little Chef restaurant as part of their chain expansion.
The Little Chef at Gate Services was quite a nice one in terms of the location because right next to the restaurant, there was a greenery area which was prone to a lot of wildlife and birds, so diners at the Little Chef could enjoy watching the nature whilst enjoying a meal. If it was a lucky day, you could spot a Kingfisher! Certainly a branch to consider.
Sadly in 2012, RCapital announced the closure of 67 branches across the UK that were deemed to be underperforming and Gate was one of them. As a result, the restaurant closed in August 2012.
Happily, all was not lost as a former member of staff, Sheila Feaver, reopened the Little Chef as an independent known as "Sheila's Kitchen", a roadside restaurant with a lot of good reviews. Sheila's Kitchen is still operating today and is proving to be very successful.