|Location||Newmarket Heath, Newmarket|
Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: A14 Westbound, Newmarket Heath, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 0XG
ONSITE FACILITIES: BP, M&S Simply Food (forecourt), Wild Bean Cafe (forecourt), Starbucks, Subway
Opened in 1984, Newmarket South was built as one half of a dual sided Happy Eater site on the Newmarket Bypass with Newmarket North, located directly opposite on the northbound 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 - therefore meaning large amounts of passing trade, particularly long distance drivers and holidaymakers. 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 and competition in the area between 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 the mid 90s, they became responsible for continuing the 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 unfortunately are still vacant to this day.
Sadly 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 were forced to close 41 Little Chef sites, 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 bought the southbound service station.