Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: A390 Southbourne Road, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 4RS
ONSITE FACILITIES: Texaco, Premier (forecourt), Domino's Pizza, 3 Wishes Hair Salon
The Little Chef first opened in 1986/87 and represented Forte's desire to grow the brand in the south west of England, particularly in Cornwall where at the time, there were a lack of Little Chefs trading. The site at St Austell, which was the only Little Chef to operate on the A390, was a location well chosen for a number of reasons. First of all, the restaurant was located on a single carriageway section of road, meaning that the site was visible and accessible to all passing traffic. In addition to this, the Little Chef was built alongside a filling station and was located near to the centre of St Austell, which is identified as one of the largest towns in Cornwall and a popular destination for holidaymakers, therefore the restaurant had the ability to attract locals to the restaurant as well as travellers on the A390 and those filling up their vehicles at the adjacent filling station. It was certainly a site which had the potential to be successful.
When Little Chef was handed over to Granada in the mid 1990s, they set about opening a number of Burger King outlets alongside a number of busy Little Chef restaurants and St Austell was a branch to receive a Burger King restaurant in 2000, giving the site two dining options. However, the Burger King later closed by the mid 2000s and was left as an empty space. This was the case with a lot of Burger Kings which traded alongside Little Chefs.
Sadly, in 2007, Little Chefs parents, who by now were People's Restaurant Group, hit financial problems and the brand was taken by new owners, venture capitalists R Capital. Not all the sites transferred over and St Austell was one of the 41 to be closed in 2007.
Soon after the Little Chef closed, it became a branch of Domino's Pizza and the former Burger King outlet became occupied by a hair salon known as 3 Wishes.