Barton Mills South
Barton Mills.png
Name Barton Mills South
Number 283
Year Opened 1987
Year Closed 2018
Road A11
Location Barton Mills, Mildenhall
County Suffolk
Postcode IP28 6AE

The Barton Mills South branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the A11 near Mildenhall, Suffolk.

Address and Onsite Facilities[edit | edit source]

ADDRESS: A11 Fiveways Roundabout, Barton Mills, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 6AE

ONSITE FACILITIES: Esso, Hursts (forecourt), Subway (forecourt), Stone Willy's Kitchen (forecourt), Burger King, Greggs, Travelodge (Book Room)

For more information, visit Motorway Services Online

History[edit | edit source]

Prior to the mid 1980s, the A11 around Mildenhall was a single carriageway route, ferrying long distance traffic between London and Norwich. The Fiveways Roundabout, which has been existence since the 1960s, played host to two garages: one on the northern quadrant of the roundabout and one just to the west of the roundabout on the A11. Following an increase in long distance traffic using the A11, the section to the south of the roundabout was upgraded to dual carriageway which opened to traffic in 1986 and later resulted in the opening of a new service area on the southern quadrant of the roundabout, accessible to all passing traffic. The service station to the west of the roundabout was now accessible to only northbound traffic.

Following the dualling of the A11, the Fiveways Roundabout was seen as an opportunity for numerous operators looking to expand and grow their restaurant chains. For example, Forte had seen the new service area on the southern quadrant of the roundabout as a great location for a Little Chef restaurant, which opened in 1987 alongside a filling station and Little Chef Lodge hotel, which became Travelodge by 1989. Meanwhile, Granada earmarked the now northbound only site as a location where an AJ's family restaurant could trade from as well. Although located a few miles to the south of Barton Mills, the Red Lodge branch of Happy Eater was also present in the area, although this was now bypassed by the new A11 and therefore closed by 1992, giving Forte's Little Chef and Granada's AJ's at Barton Mills the upper hand. 

Out of the two restaurant brands which operated at the Fiveways Roundabout, it was obvious that due to its larger fleet of restaurants, Little Chef was the more lucrative brand compared to AJ's. As a result of this, when Granada bought Forte and thus Little Chef in the mid 1990s, they set about converting all AJ's restaurants into Little Chefs, a similar scheme to when Forte and later Granada converted Happy Eater restaurants into Little Chefs throughout the 80s and 90s. The AJ's at Barton Mills North therefore became a Little Chef, allowing it to trade as a partner branch with the existing Little Chef. The new Little Chef also focused its attention on northbound traffic to save traffic having to go full circuit around the roundabout to gain access to the Little Chef on the "southbound" side.

Owing to its prime location next to the busy A11, the Little Chef received a Forte Coffee Stop in 1994, However, in 1997, Granada set about opening a number of Burger King outlets alongside Little Chef restaurants to provide travellers with a fast food choice and Barton Mills South was one of many restaurants to have received a Burger King, replacing the Coffee Stop

In 2002, the Little Chef at Barton Mills South recieved the "New Choices" Makeover, giving it some smart new furniture and access to exciting menus from Harry Ramsdens, Upper Crust, Wiseguys Pizza and Caffe Ritazza; however, the menus were later removed. In 2006, a Coffee Tempo takeaway outlet joined the Little Chef and Burger King, although this and the Burger King later closed by 2008.

Unfortunately in 2012, Barton Mills South lost its northbound partner to a list of 67 restaurant closures. 

In 2013, the Burger King at Barton Mills South was resurrected by then owners, Kout Food Group

Following the takeover by Euro Garages in 2017, Barton Mills South was one of a number sites converted to an EG Diner in January 2018. This was due to the expiration of Euro Garages' right to use the Little Chef brand name. However, the EG Diner at Barton Mills ceased trading by October 2018 and was later replaced with a Greggs and newly refurbished Burger King.

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