Barnsdale Bar North
Barnsdale bar north little chef.jpg
Name Barnsdale Bar North
Number  208
Year Opened 1980/81, 2005
Year Closed 2004, 2012
Road A1
Location Wentbridge, Pontefract
County West Yorkshire
Postcode WF8 3JF

The Barnsdale Bar North branch was a Little Chef restaurant located on the A1 near Wentbridge, West Yorkshire. 

Address and Onsite Facilities[edit | edit source]

ADDRESS: A1 Northbound, Wentbridge, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 3JF

ONSITE FACILITIES: Shell, Select (forecourt), Deli by Shell (forecourt), Costa Express (forecourt), Pulse and Cocktails Adult Superstore

For more information, visit Motorway Services Online

History[edit | edit source]

In 1981, Forte decided it would compliment its motorway and trunk road service areas by rolling Little Chefs out at them, rather than just having stand-alone restaurants on the a-roads. Given that Barnsdale Bar already had the southbound services building and only a car park with a link bridge to these services on the northbound side, it made sense to locate the Little Chef on the northbound side which Forte did. By 1989 the southbound services also had a Little Chef and the footbridge linking both sides had gone.

Having originally been housed in a rectangular building with a flat roof and large windows facing out onto the A1, the Little Chef was later remodelled to its current design as seen today

Between 1996 and 1997, a Forte Coffee Stop operated at the Little Chef in order to cater for those on the move.

The Little Chef in the 1980s, before it was remodelled

By 1997, the Happy Eater at Doncaster, also owned by Little Chef's then owners Granada, had been rebranded as a Little Chef. This was a process started by Forte in 1994 as Little Chef made more money than Happy Eater so the decision was taken to convert all their sites to the Little Chef format. Given that the Doncaster branch was so close to Barnsdale Bar and bigger, better equipped and located ahead of Barnsdale Bar, this must have affected Barnsdale Bar North's trade somewhat. Sadly, but somewhat unsurprisingly, the branch was closed in 2004 by the owners Permira. However, it remained fully furnished. It southbound counterpart is believed to have closed shortly afterwards too.

Happily, new owners and fans of the dual-sider model, People's Restaurant Group, came back and re-opened both Little Chefs in 2005 and they continued to trade happily thereafter.

However, in January 2012, then owners R Capital announced a cull of 67 unprofitable Little Chefs. The Barnsdale Bar sites were not included in this list and indeed some investment came to the southbound branch - its Coffee Tempo became a Little Chef Express - so things looked good. However, in September 2012, further unexpected closures were announced and both Barnsdale Bar sites closed with almost no warning.

The Little Chef has since become a Pulse and Cocktails adult superstore, whilst Southbound is due to be demolished

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