Built as a typical A-road service station, it is located on the westbound side of the A66 just outside of Penrith and about a third of a mile from the M6 motorway. Eastbound travellers wishing to dine at the Penrith Little Chef can make a U-Turn at the M6 junction and rejoin the westbound A66 to gain access to the restaurant.
The Little Chef first opened in 1987/88 and was housed inside of a large rectangular building perched on top of a small hill. The A66 is a major route which runs from Scotch Corner to Keswick. It feeds many towns and intersects with many routes to the North. Thus, a Little Chef here would be sure to attract a lot of passing traffic on the road. Little Chef's owners at the time, Forte, thought so too and in order to maximise the restaurant's potential chose a location close to the large town of Penrith to help encourage locals. The site chosen also had a Travelodge which presented a great opportunity for Little Chef to attract additional custom from the hotel, especially when it came to the breakfast rush.
In the Granada era, the Little Chef saw the addition of a Burger King outlet. However, this later closed.
Unlike other Little Chefs, the Penrith branch used to have a sign in the car park which told travellers what the restaurant has to offer. The sign used to read:
- Licensed Restaurant and Bar
- Coffee and Snack Bar
- Take Away
- Open 7am - 10pm
However this information has since been replaced on the sign by a Burger King logo.
The Little Chef recieved the "New Choices" Makeover in 2002 giving it some smart new furniture and access to exciting menus from Harry Ramsdens, Upper Crust, Wiseguys Pizza and Caffe Ritazza. A nice feature of the interior is the low lighting as it brings a nice atmosphere to the restaurant, especially in the evening. The low lighting should help attract evening diners.
Happily, the Little Chef is still operating today. Current owners Kout Food Group reopened the Burger King in 2013 in a bid to attract extra custom.