|Location||Seaton Burn, Newcastle|
|County||Tyne and Wear|
The Seaton Burn branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located at the junction of the A1 and A19 roads near Seaton Burn, Tyne and Wear.
Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: Fisher Lane, Seaton Burn, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE13 6BP
ONSITE FACILITIES: Esso, Spar (forecourt), Costa Express (forecourt), EG Diner, Burger King, Travelodge (Book Room)
The site was first built during the 1980s by Little Chef's rival chain, Kelly's Kitchen and was a joint venture between a Brewery Company, who ran the restaurant and Petrofina, who ran the filling station. This was one of 18 Kelly's Kitchens/ Petrofina sites operating across the UK, with Black Cat (A1), Crewe (A500), Beacon Hill (A14) and Lincoln (A46) fellow survivors under the Little Chef brand. Kelly's Kitchen restaurants were very distinctive, housed inside a building with an overhanging roof, cottage styled windows and a large funnel-like chimney built into the wall and the roof.
In 1989/90, Forte were on the hunt to expand the Little Chef chain and decided to buy out Kelly's Kitchen and rebrand all 18 restaurants as Little Chef. In the case of Seaton Burn, Little Chef were planning a rival to the site just 3 miles to the east at Cramlington on what was then the A1/ A189 junction (before the A1 was re-routed), scheduled to open in 1990/91. However, although it was still scheduled to open after the Kelly's takeover, Forte must have decided that, with Seaton Burn so close, there was no need for Cramlington too and pulled the plug on the plan. Whitbread took the site instead.
However, it was under Granada ownership in the 90s that the site really evolved with addition of a Burger King and a Travelodge to the Little Chef by 1999. Another small quirk that Seaton Burn still displays is the remnants of a planned rebrand around 2004 by Little Chef's former owners Permira who looked to change the Little Chef logo to swirly writing instead of the usual signage with Charlie. This plan was dropped by 2005 when People's Restaurant Company took over Little Chef, only to be picked up again and tweaked slightly by current owners R Capital in 2011.
In 2017, Euro Garages took over the Little Chef chain and throughout the year, a majority of the restaurants were converted into brands such as Starbucks and Subway. By January 2018, only half of the Little Chef restaurants remaining were converted, leaving around 35 to 40 Little Chefs still trading. Due to Euro Garages being unable to use the Little Chef name after 31st January 2018, they had to think of an option to quickly convert the remaining restaurants. This was when EG Diner was born and Seaton Burn was one of the first of these to open. However, these EG Diners at the moment are literally just unbranded Little Chefs with the EG Diner menu. The remaining Little Chefs are expected to follow the same path, although some will only be open for a short period of time, as they have further plans to be replaced by other brands.