Starbucks set for six-figure move to former Little Chef

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TYNEDALE is in line for its second Starbucks coffee outlet close to the A69 as part of a six-figure investment.

Months after Euro Garages included the big-name brand within Hexham’s 24-hour service station at Bridge End, the Blackburn-based filling stations operator has announced its redevelopment plans for a second site in the district.

The former Little Chef site at Bardon Mill is undergoing a £500,000 refurbishment and will be rebranded as a Starbucks coffee shop, due to open by October.

Speculation over the future of the roadside restaurant was rife after it closed suddenly last week.

Signs warning motorists that the site was out of action were placed in the windows, before contractors moved in and a skip appeared outside.

A spokeswoman for Euro Garages, which also has partnerships with brands including Greggs, Subway and Burger King, revealed the investment in the site would create new jobs.

“The Little Chef site at Bardon Mill was closed for refurbishment in early August,” she said.

“It will now reopen as a Starbucks coffee shop in late September/early October.

“All existing jobs have been transferred, with an additional six jobs created.”

Having served customers on the busy route between Newcastle and Carlisle for more than 30 years, the Little Chef restaurant at Bardon Mill was one of just over 50 outlets remaining in the UK.

The site, which opened from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week, was given a stay of execution in 2012 when a cull of 67 failing restaurants saw the loss of up to 600 jobs nationwide.

The future of the chain became unclear in February when it was bought by Euro Garages from the Kout Food Group and the new management announced that each site would be assessed on a “case-by-case basis”.

A statement released at the time by Intervias, parent company of Euro Garages, said: “This transaction forms part of our growth plan to acquire and develop strategically-positioned sites, allowing us to bring a portfolio of market-leading brands to consumers and communities across the UK and elsewhere in Europe.”

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