Ringwood (St Leonards)
Name Ringwood (St Leonards)
Number 074
Year Opened 1968-72
Year Closed 2017
Road A31
Location St Leonards, Ringwood
County Hampshire
Postcode BH24 2NR

The Ringwood (St Leonards) branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the A31 near Ringwood, Hampshire

Address and Onsite Information[edit | edit source]

ADDRESS: A31, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 2NR

ONSITE FACILITIES: BP, M&S Simply Food (forecourt), Wild Bean Cafe (forecourt), Greggs, Subway, Travelodge (Book Room)

History[edit | edit source]

Forte first got their hands on the building between 1968 and 1972, taking over what was previously an independent cafe, and wasted no time in turning it into a Little Chef restaurant. This was part of a large but clever process in which Forte acquired numerous houses and independent cafes all over the UK and converted them into Little Chef restaurants in order to expand the chain quickly and efficiently. Ringwood was the third Little Chef restaurant to open on the A31 and it was a well chosen site considering that there were no other Little Chefs on this section of the A31 to be found nearby, therefore it helped to increase their presence in the area.

In the late 1990s/early 2000s, the decision was made to build a Travelodge on site. However, instead of building the lodge in a separate building to the Little Chef, then owners, Compass, came up with the clever idea of merging both lodge and restaurant into the same building. This was done by incorporating the Little Chef into the bottom corner of the Travelodge. This was a revelation for Compass as it allowed them to incorporate a greater range of their brands into a standard sized site.

In 2002, the Little Chef received the "New Choices" format, created by Compass to offer menus from their other brands - Caffe Ritazza, Harry Ramsdens and Upper Crust - alongside the Little Chef offering. 

In December 2017, Ringwood closed following the takeover by Euro Garages. It later re-opened as a Greggs in January 2018 and was soon joined by a Subway shortly after.

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