The Colsterworth branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located at Colsterworth Services on the A1 in Colsterworth near Grantham, Lincolnshire.
Address and Onsite Information
ADDRESS: Colsterworth Services, Colsterworth, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG33 5JR
ONSITE FACILITIES: Esso, Spar (forecourt), Subway (forecourt), Starbucks on the Go (forecourt), Burger King, Travelodge (Book Room)
Colsterworth Services opened in 1989 on the Colsterworth roundabout and was built by Motorway Services giant Granada as part of their plans to conquer the A-roads with scaled-down motorway-style sites. Others included Blyth (A1), Musselburgh (A1), Markfield (A50), Saltash (A38), Warminster (A36) and their older site at Monmouth (A40). These each had a Granada Country Kitchen restaurant, shop, small arcade area, lodge and fuel forecourt. In the early 90s, Granada decided to replace the restaurant at all A-road sites, with the exception of Blyth, with AJ's Family Restaurants who it had done a deal with. This gave them a direct rival to Forte's Little Chef brand for the first time. They then added Burger King to all sites.
However, in 1995, Granada gained control of Forte as part of a hostile takeover of the company and, in doing so, got their hands on Little Chef. It then set about severing all ties with AJ's and replaced them with Little Chef at all sites. However, Colsterworth Services proved the exception here. Just to the north of the Colsterworth roundabout were two Happy Eater restaurants (a northbound and a southbound) which Granada had also acquired as part of the Forte deal. Granada decided to keep these and, in order to safeguard their trade, opted not to put a Little Chef into Colsterworth Services, leaving Burger King as the only restaurant option for a few years. The Happy Eaters were then converted to Little Chefs in 1997, a process Forte had started with the Happy Eater brand as Little Chef made more money. However, by 1998 a complete U-turn had been performed and both Little Chefs were closed and a Little Chef restaurant opened in Granada's main Colsterworth Services instead alongside the Burger King.
Granada then merged with Compass Catering in 2000 and subsequently demerged in 2001, leaving Compass with its Catering Division. Compass then set about selling off Little Chef and Travelodge and although it kept ownership of Colsterworth, Little Chef and it's new owners took care of the running
In 2006, following a successful trial, Coffee Tempo opened at Colsterworth alongside Little Chef and BK. This later became Little Chef Express in 2012.
In 2010, the Colsterworth Roundabout was removed and replaced by a new junction but the services weren't affected by the roadworks .
Following the takeover by Euro Garages in 2017, Colsterworth was one of a number sites converted to an EG Diner in January 2018. This is due to the expiration of Euro Garages' right to use the Little Chef brand name. These sites are likely to be re-branded as another brand at a later date.
In October 2018, all remaining EG Diners closed down including the branch at Colsterworth.