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Saxmundham
Little Chef Saxmundham.jpg
Name Saxmundham
Number 656
Year Opened 1996/97
Year Closed 2012
Road A12
Location Darsham, Saxmundham
County Suffolk
Postcode IP17 3QR

The Saxmundham branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the A12 near Darsham, Suffolk

Address and Onsite Facilities[]

ADDRESS: A12 London Road, Darsham, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 3QR

ONSITE FACILITIES: Two Magpies Bakery

History[]

Given the increasing popularity of the A12 between Ipswich and Great Yarmouth, coupled with the lack of existing roadside establishments on this important section of road, a standalone Happy Eater restaurant was constructed approximately halfway between Ipswich and Lowestoft in the early 1980s. It was a site well chosen as not only was it located on a single carriageway section of road, making it accessible to all passing traffic, but it was also the only site to have opened between Ipswich and Great Yarmouth, making it an attractive stop for travellers.

In 1986, Forte acquired the Happy Eater brand and by 1993, set about phasing out the brand completely by converting a majority of the Happy Eater estate into the more established and lucrative Little Chef. The Saxmundham branch was converted into Little Chef by 1997, around the same time when Granada acquired Little Chef from Forte.

Despite the branch being known as Saxmundham, it was in fact located six and a half miles north of the town.

The Little Chef finally closed its doors by February 2012, as part of then owners, RCapital's, restructuring of the Little Chef chain, where at least 67 restaurant closures were inevitable, including Saxmundham. The branch closed along with many other sites along the A12, including Capel St Mary North and South and Rivenhall End South, leaving the Feering branch between Chelmsford and Colchester as the only site left on this important trunk road. After closure, the site became home to the Darsham Hamper, which later closed and was replaced with its current occupant: Two Magpies Bakery.

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