Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: A30/A386 Junction, Sourton, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 4LY
ONSITE FACILITIES: Shell, Deli2Go (forecourt), Costa Express (forecourt), EG Diner, Burger King, Travelodge (Book Room)
The Little Chef at Sourton Cross first opened between 1985 and 1987 and was housed inside of a large stone building with three floors and painted white with red touches. The building that the Little Chef sat in has the design of a converted house except for the red touches of paint which were used to reflect the Little Chef brand. Sourton Cross opened in the same era when Forte were buying out existing roadside cafes, inns and houses in order to make way for new Little Chef restaurants so that the chain could expand rapidly. Judging by its converted house design, it looks like that Sourton Cross was one of these cases.
The Little Chef was positioned on the A386 road but it was also accessible to traffic on the A30. In order to gain access to the Little Chef, A30 travellers would have had to leave the road at the A386 junction and drive a couple of hundred metres to the Little Chef. Being able to serve two roads at once was always a benefit for the Little Chef as there was always the chance of extra custom. With both roads heading towards the Devon and Cornwall coasts, Sourton Cross was a perfect Little Chef restaurant for holidaymakers to dine at.
Located next to a busy filling station and lodge, this presented a great opportunity for Little Chef to attract additional custom from the facilities. In the Granada era, a Burger King was built alongside the Little Chef but this later closed. Sourton Cross was said to be one of the largest service areas in this particular region.
Following the closure of Hayle in 2004/05, Sourton Cross had the honour of being the most Southwesterly branch in the current fleet. Former owners Kout Food Group re-added a Burger King to the offering in 2013.
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 Sourton Cross 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.