The Old Stratford branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the A5 near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
Some Little Chefs have stories to tell and the Old Stratford branch is certainly one of them. Opened in 1986/87, the Little Chef had all the ingredients of a successful site. It was located at a junction of two major roads (A5/ A508), off a roundabout making it easily accessible and easily spotable, and right next to a big population source in the form of Milton Keynes. It was also beside a filling station which always helps custom. In the Granada era, a Burger King was added to the offering, giving customers an alternative choice of food.
The Little Chef soldiered on happily until 2001 when disaster struck and it was seriously damaged by a large, but accidental, fire. Then owners Compass decided to completely rebuild the restaurant and, in the process, shoehorn a Travelodge into the site as well. This was done by building an entirely new Travelodge building and incorporating the Little Chef into the bottom corner of it. This was a revelation for Compass as it allowed them to incorporate a greater range of their brands into a standard sized site. The Little Chef was open by 2002 and was kitted out in the "New Choices" format, created by Compass to offer menus from their other brands - Caffe Ritazza, Harry Ramsdens and Upper Crust - alongside the Little Chef offering. The entrance to the Little Chef was inside the reception area of the Travelodge.
Bizarrely, this was not the only Little Chef in the area to experience a fire with the nearby Fenny Stratford (Milton Keynes) branch the subject of an Arson attack in 2002.
In 2012, then owners RCapital announced that 67 Little Chef branches would close throughout the UK and Old Stratford was one of them. The Little Chef sadly closed in 2012, leaving an empty vacant area in the corner of the Travelodge hotel. It has now been taken over by local chain "Buddies USA" as an American Diner and is one of 7 ex Little Chef sites that Buddies operate.