|Location||Mile End, Oswestry|
The Oswestry branch is a Little Chef restaurant located at the junction of the A5 and A483 at the Mile End services near Oswestry, Shropshire.
The Little Chef first opened in 1987 and replaced the Whittington branch (located a few miles away on the original A5 (now B5009)). Whittington had fallen victim to changes to the road network to the west of Oswestry and had now found itself bypassed by a new dual carriageway known as the Oswestry Bypass which was a re-route of the A5. With the original A5 being much quieter than the new A5 and the road carrying hardly any traffic, Whittington Little Chef didn't recieve very many customers and shut up shop as it didn't meet expectations in terms of profit. Forte reacted by finding a site on the new Oswestry Bypass and chose the site at Mile End Services, Oswestry, beside a filling station. This meant that travellers on the new bypass could have a Little Chef to go to despite the closure of Whittington. The Mile End services was positioned next to a roundabout, making it easily accessible and spotable to all traffic.
Compared to Whittington, Mile End Services was a much larger site, sporting the quadruple combination of Little Chef, Travelodge, filling station and tourist centre. The Little Chef had the house design of the era with the pitched roof, double front and red bricks and was attached to a much larger building with a Tesco-like design which sheltered the tourist centre and had walkways connecting the Little Chef and Travelodge.
In the Granada era, the site was joined by a Burger King restaurant. Despite other closures of Burger Kings at Little Chef sites the Oswestry Burger King has survived to this day.
In 2002, the Little Chef recieved the "New Choices" Makeover, giving it some smart new furniture and access to exciting menus from Harry Ramsdens, Upper Crust, Wiseguys Pizza and Caffe Ritazza. Nowadays it trades again as a standard Little Chef, but quite a smart one.
In 2006, the branch was one of many Little Chefs to be joined by a Coffee Tempo outlet. However, this was short-lived and was removed by 2009.
In the early 2010s, Eurogarages acquired the petrol station and forecourt on site. Along with many other sites under their ownership, Eurogarages built a Starbucks Coffee outlet on site. This was later joined by a Subway outlet which housed itself inside of the forecourt building. This brings the restaurant total to four!
Today, the Little Chef is still operating and is proving to be a successful site. It seems to be doing very well as it has managed to hold itself back against the neighbouring restaurants, suggesting that it is a very strong branch.