|Rivenhall End South|
|Name||Rivenhall End South|
|Location||Rivenhall End, Witham|
The Rivenhall End South branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the southbound 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. 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 therefore the Rivenhall branches were similar to other restaurants like 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 the builders, which was done by building the new building around the old building and then demolishing the walls of the old building. This allowed Little Chef to utilise original features such as toilets, plumbing and ducting. Also, it meant the buildings looked more modern and attractive to passing traffic.
The Little Chef at Rivenhall End South was probably one of the more quieter sites. However despite this, it still managed to survive the closures list in 2001/02, 2004/05 and 2007, suggesting that it was good enough to carry on. However, 2007 was not a good year for its northbound partner as this was the year when it, along with 40 other sites, closed due to then owners People's Restaurant Company going into administration. Not all sites transferred over to new owners RCapital and many quieter sites (including Rivenhall End North) closed. This left the southbound restaurant to soldier on alone and left it as one of the only options on the A12. The northbound side has been a couple of independents since but these didn't last very long.
At some point in the late 2000s, the Little Chef was painted red in order to represent the brand. This was done with a few Little Chef restaurants and was used later in 2011 when RCapital were rolling out new concept restaurants known as 'Wonderfully British'.
The Little Chef continued to soldier on until 2012. By this time Little Chef had passed through the hands of a number of owners and was now under the control of venture capital firm RCapital. In an attempt to make the company more profitable, R Capital decided to cull 67 sites that it deemed to be underperforming with Rivenhall End South being one of them. After the closure of the Little Chef, the branding remained on the building for some time. However, it was later removed.
Along with many other former Little Chef sites, Rivenhall End South was purchased by Euro Garages and in 2013, it was converted into a Starbucks.