|Location||Spean Bridge, Lochaber|
The Spean Bridge branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the A82 near Lochaber, Scotland.
The Little Chef opened in 1987 and represented Forte's desire to grow the brand on the west coast of Scotland with better representation on the Glasgow to Inverness corridor. They already had Dumbarton at the south with both Tyndrum and Spean Bridge opening in 1987 to cover the middle and the north of the corridor respectively.
To look at the site on a map Spean Bridge appreared very remote indeed but with the summer tourist trade, the ferries and the skiing in the winter, plus the usual A82 traffic, the site made a lot of sense located where it was. However, it's slightly out of the way location probably meant that when refurbishments and new decor were rolled out, Spean Bridge remained pretty much at the end of the pecking order. Even in 2012, it still looked pretty much exactly the same as it did when it opened sporting the bare brick walls, the servery bar, the red lightshades, red and white tiling, the partitions and the red lower glazing in the windows that almost every other site had dispensed with by 2000. This was not to its detriment though. The site had been well looked after and the retro fittings gave it a real charm, especially for children of the 80s who grew up with this style of Little Chef.
Sadly, in 2012, Little Chef's owners R Capital annouced a massive cull of what it deemed to be 67 loss-making sites and Spean Bridge was one of them. It's closure in February 2012 marked the end of an era, especially given that, by this point Spean Bridge was both the furthest north and furthest west branch in the UK. Today it is believed to have been taken over by The Bridge Cafe, an independent which seems to be doing well as a whole.