|Rivenhall End North|
|Name||Rivenhall End North|
|Location||Rivenhall End, Witham|
The Rivenhall End North branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the northbound side of the A12 near Witham, Essex.
Rivenhall End Services was built between 1980 and 1982 as a dual sided service station located just to the north of Witham on the A12 with each side sporting a filling station and a Little Chef. Now in terms of the buildings, the Rivenhall End branches were originally housed inside of flat roofed buildings with pointed water tanks on top of the roofs. This was the usual Little Chef house design of the era and the Rivenhalls had similar house designs to other branches such as Balhaldie North, Forres and Collin. However, in the late 80s/early 90s, the Little Chef on each side was remodelled with each building now sporting the pitched roof, double front design. This was a new method introduced by builders was done by building the new building around the old building and then demolishing the walls of the old building. In this way they could still utilise original features such as toilets, plumbing and ducting. Also, the buildings looked more modern and attractive to passing traffic.
Rivenhall End North looked to be a quiet site during its lifetime and wasn't really as busy as its southbound partner. Despite this, it still managed to survive the closures list in 2001/02 and in 2004/05 and continued to trade on happily. However, it lost its filling station in the early-mid 2000s, meaning that the chances of attracting extra custom to the Little Chef would decrease.
Despite being a decent restaurant, Rivenhall End North sadly left the UK in 2007. This was due to Little Chef's owners at the time, The People's Restaurant Company, going into administration at this point and although new owners RCapital saved Little Chef, Rivenhall End North was one of the 41 sites that didn't transfer over and thus closed immediately. It's southbound partner continued to soldier on.
Soon after the closure of the Little Chef, it was converted into a cafe known as Holland's Coffee Lounge who were once accused of having a similar logo to the Harrod's shopping centre in London. Holland's Coffee Lounge continued to soldier on for a couple of years until 2011 when an American themed diner known as the 8 Ball Diner took over. However, this was very short lived and was gone by 2012. Furthermore, it was later re-opened as another american themed diner in 2016, known as the Empire Diner - of which it still trades as of today.
In July 2012, the Little Chef experience came to an end at Rivenhall End as the southbound restaurant ceased trading at this point. Rivenhall End South closed when RCapital decided to close 67 Little Chef outlets in the country and has since become a Starbucks branch. Northbound on the other hand still remains empty.