Address and Onsite FacilitiesEdit
ADDRESS: A9 Northbound, Balhaldie, Dunblane, Perthshire, FK15 0NB
ONSITE FACILITIES: Subway
The Little Chef was opened in 1984. It is the sister site to Balhaldie South, which opened earlier in 1980-82 although Forte has always planned the site as a dual sider. However, where Balhaldie South utilised an existing building, Balhaldie North was a new build in the house style of the time (flat roofed with funnel-style roof fitting) and is identical to fellow Scottish site Brechin which opened around the same time.
As well is being highly visible, owing to its location on a wide, open piece of dual carriageway, Balhaldie North benefitted from advanced signage on the M80 motorway between Glasgow and Stirling, advising that there was a Little Chef in 10 miles. The bypassing of Dunblane, the next settlement to the south, in the early 90s also helped to make Balhaldie North a more attractive stop for motorists.
It was also well-kept with modest refits in the 90s and mid 2000s all of which helped it to look inviting, espcially from the outside.
By 1996, Balhaldie had the only dual-sided site left in Scotland - Johnstonebridge on the A74 closed due to a motorway upgrade - and both sites continued to perform well, surviving the closures that afflicted many Little Chefs in 2002, 2004 and 2007. Even when then owner R Capital announced 67 closures in January 2012, the Balhaldie sites escaped, although they were two of the three sites that remained in Scotland following these. This earned Balhaldie North the title of furthest north Little Chef in the UK, following the closure of Spean Bridge Little Chef in February 2012. However, the accolade was short-lived as, in September 2012, R Capital closed more sites unexpectedly and Balhaldie North was one of the unfortunate ones. This ended an era with no dual siders left in Scotland and its southbound twin left to soldier on alone.
In 2013, Balhaldie North Little Chef re-opened under the guise of Olivers Diner in the same building. However, this lasted less than 6 months leaving the building empty again.
In 2017, Balhaldie North re-opened once again, becoming a branch of Subway.