|South Cave East|
|Name||South Cave East|
|Location||South Cave, Hull|
|County||East Riding of Yorkshire|
The South Cave East branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the eastbound side of the A63 near South Cave, East Riding of Yorkshire.
Opened originally by Forte as a Happy Eater, South Cave East was one of an offset pair with sister site South Cave West opening around the same time. Both sites are shown as opening between 1986 and 1988 although it is unknown if one opened slightly ahead of the other. As both are located beside filling stations, it is entirely possible that these pre-dated the Happy Eaters in which case, given Forte's desire to locate next to filling stations for added business, this led to the offset pairing. They were also non-identical twins in terms of building design. While the eastbound was built in the same style as some Little Chefs of the era - Hockliffe, Whitemare Pool, Emsworth - with a low tiled roof, the westbound looked far grander with a tall sloping roof, large windows and grand porch leading into the restaurant. In terms of the size, it was smaller than the westbound Little Chef. Another difference was with accommodation with east getting a lodge in the early 90s in the Forte era, whereas west did not.
Around 1993, Forte hatched a plan to change all Happy Eaters to Little Chefs as the brand made more money. Both South Cave branches had joined the Little Chef ranks by 1995. They continued to soldier on happily in this way.
In 2009, there were some sad news for the westbound Little Chef as RCapital announced the closure of two Little Chef branches that were deemed to be underperforming and South Cave West was one of the two. It closed without warning, leaving the eastbound Little Chef to soldier on alone.
It seemed that the South Cave East branch was fairly important for some people. For example, it has always been a useful lunch stop for those fellow travellers driving into Hull on the A63. Also, guests staying in the adjacent Travelodge always relied on the Little Chef as a place to dine for breakfast due to a lack of alternatives nearby. Sadly in 2012, RCapital announced that 67 unsuccessful Little Chef restaurants would close without warning and South Cave East was included on the list. So as a result, the Little Chef closed immediately and has since remained empty at the site, making the area look run down. The closure of the Little Chef has had a great impact on guests staying at the Travelodge as they state in reviews on TripAdvisor that there is no place to eat breakfast nearby other than the filling station shop.
Now the Little Chef has closed, the A63 is now free of Little Chefs.