|Location||Newmarket Heath, Newmarket|
The Newmarket North branch is a former Little Chef restaurant located on the eastbound side of the A14 near Newmarket, Suffolk.
Address and Onsite Information
ADDRESS: A14 Eastbound, Newmarket Heath, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 0XG
ONSITE FACILITIES: BP, M&S Simply Food (forecourt), Wild Bean Cafe (forecourt), Starbucks, Greggs
Opened in 1984, Newmarket North was built as one half of a dual sided Happy Eater site on the Newmarket Bypass with Newmarket South, located directly opposite on the southbound side, making up the other half. This was a masterstroke by Happy Eater's owners, Hanson Trust, as the small section of road in which the services were built on was actually two roads - the A11 linking London and Norwich and the A45 (now A14) linking Birmingham, Ipswich and Felixstowe, meaning large amount of passing trade. Located a few miles east at Kentford was a dual sided Little Chef site operated by Forte; however, the services only served traffic using the A45, therefore Hanson Trust clearly had the greater advantage with their Happy Eater site. However, in 1986, Forte acquired Happy Eater, meaning that they could now benefit from the busier Newmarket site whilst also maintaining choice in the area with the Happy Eaters at Newmarket and the Little Chefs at Kentford.
In 1993, Forte hatched a plan to convert a majority of Happy Eater restaurants into Little Chefs as the latter was deemed to be more profitable. When Granada took over from Forte in 1997, they became responsible for the remaining conversions of Happy Eaters to Little Chefs and the Happy Eaters at Newmarket finally became Little Chefs by 1997.
With the restaurants at Newmarket now trading as Little Chef, this meant that there were now four Little Chef restaurants trading in close proximity. However, due its larger site, its location and the fact that the filling stations at Kentford closed in 1997, it was evident that Newmarket was by far the more profitable site, therefore the Little Chefs at Kentford ceased trading by 2005 and are unfortunately still abandoned to this day.
In 2007, an upset was to occur as the Newmarket South Little Chef had ceased trading when Little Chef's then owners, the People's Restaurant Company were taken into administration and a handful Little Chef sites failed to transfer to new owners, RCapital, as part of a deal, one of which was Newmarket South. This left Newmarket North to soldier on alone. After a brief period of time, Newmarket South was turned into a Starbucks when Euro Garages acquired the southbound restaurant building.
In 2017, Euro Garages took over the Little Chef chain and unfortunately hatched a plan to close all Little Chef restaurants by January 2018, with Newmarket North closing in 2017, therefore wiping out Little Chef's presence completely in the area. The restaurant soon reopened as a Starbucks, which was the case with most other Little Chef sites closed under the ownership of Euro Garages.
In 2018, an extension to the building was built and a Greggs opened up shop to compliment the Starbucks.