The Podimore branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located at the junction of the A303 and A37 in the village of Podimore near Yeovil, Somerset.
Address and Onsite Information[edit | edit source]
ADDRESS: Podimore Roundabout, Podimore, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 8JG
ONSITE FACILITIES: Esso, Hursts (forecourt), Costa Express (forecourt), Burger King, Greggs, Subway, Sainsbury's On The Go, Travelodge (Book Room)
History[edit | edit source]
Opened in 1988/89, Podimore typified the Little Chef of the era and was housed inside of a building with the typical pitched roof, double front design. It was built at a roundabout site, making it easily accessible and spotable to all traffic.
The Podimore roundabout is probably one of the most busiest junctions on the A303. It serves two major routes (the A37 and A303) which are used a lot by long distance travellers delivering goods across the country and fellow holidaymakers escaping to the Devon and Cornwall coasts for a holiday. Thus, a Little Chef here would be sure to have plenty of passing trade and be able to attract a lot of traffic, especially long-distance. The site chosen also had a filling station and lodge which presented a great opportunity for Little Chef to attract additional custom from the facilities.
Like many other Little Chef sites, Podimore recieved a Burger King in the Granada era. Burger Kings alongside Little Chefs were good in some ways as they helped attract the extra custom to Little Chef restaurants. In 2006, a Coffee Tempo! outlet also joined the Little Chef but this was gone by 2012.
In 2011, Podimore was one of the 10 sites to receive the "Wonderfully British" refurbishment. Wonderfully British was the follow-on, slightly tweaked version of the "Hestonised" site with slightly different interior finishes, new branding (Charlie lost his tray and instead had his arms open to welcome visitors) and Little Chef's new "grab and go" take-away option known as Good to Go. Unlike some other sites, Podimore kept its Burger King.
Following the takeover by Euro Garages in 2017, Podimore 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. However, the EG Diner closed in June 2018 and has since been replaced with a Greggs and Subway as part of a refurbishment. The attached Burger King has also been given a refresh and a Sainsbury's On The Go has also joined the line up