The Blyth branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the southbound side of the A1 near Blyth, Nottinghamshire.
THIS LITTLE CHEF IS NOW CLOSED.
Address: A1 South, Blyth, Nottinghamshire, S81 8EL
Onsite Facilities: Flo's Cafe
The Little Chef at Blyth first opened between 1972 and 1976 as a standalone restaurant on the southbound side of the A1 just south of Blyth. It opened as part of Forte's expansion of the Little Chef chain. This expansion occurred throughout the 70s and 80s and saw many independent roadside cafes and houses being converted into Little Chef restaurants and also new restaurants being built from scratch at roadside service areas. Blyth was a restaurant built from scratch and it was housed inside of a building with a flat roof and a rectagular shape; the typical Little Chef house design of the era.
Around 1990/91, a Forte Travelodge was built behind the Little Chef in order to cater for tired travellers who needed to take a break from a long journey. This was also the time when the Little Chef building was remodelled/rebuilt so that it could simply fit in with the lodge and make the restaurant look a little more modern overall. The new building was given a sloping roof and was slightly larger in size.
By 1998, the Travelodge hotel on site ceased trading, probably due to its location near Granada's (now Moto's) Blyth Services (located a mile north) which had a wider range of facilities, including a lodge. Blyth Services was located before the Little Chef site for those heading south, therefore it was far more likely that travellers would stop there to rest because it was the site that they first encountered, meaning that the smaller lodge at the Little Chef site suffered due to a lack of custom and thus wasn't very popular. The hotel was demolished soon after the closure and the Little Chef continued to soldier on alone, despite clear competition just north
Sadly, it all came to an end in 2002 when then owners, Compass, closed a handful of sites which were deemed to be unprofitable, one of which was Blyth. It closed in 2002 and has since been operated by many independents including Katie's Kitchen, Frankie's Diner (later Joey's Diner) and Flo's Cafe.
As of 2017 there are a lot of Little Chef DNA still remaining at this site including the furniture, the bins in the car park and the remains of the totem sign. Only the minimilk lampposts remained until the early 2010s.