Barnsdale Bar

Barnsdale Bar
Barnsdale Bar
Road:A1 between Doncaster and Pontefract
Address:Great North Road
West Yorkshire
(Google Maps link)
Signposted from the road?Yes
Previous operators:Autogrill
Grid reference:SE505146
Services type:Two sites located between junctions, with no public connection between them.

An old former Little Chef restaurant and still a large service area, part of the signed route to the south.


Main Amenities: Meeting Room (southbound only)
Restaurants: DD's Services (southbound only)
Shops: none
Motel: Southside Lodge (southbound only)
Forecourt: Shell, Air1 AdBlue, Autogas LPG, Select, Costa Express, Deli2Go


The southbound side of the services was built in the 1960s by Trusthouse Forte as a large and proper service area under their Autogrill brand. Along with Oxford Peartree on the A34, it was built as a scaled down version of Forte's motorway service station sites, designed for A-roads. The two sites were very similar as they shared the same building design with the exact orange roof. Autogrill supplied the building with a large restaurant and shop and the site was later joined by an American styled Travelodge motel with a bar known as the "Barnsdale Bar" inside of it, giving the site its name. Over the years the main services building traded under many names, but all under Forte ownership, including Forte, Autogrill, Motor Chef, Trusthouse Forte and briefly Welcome Break, Restaurant options grew to take in Forte's "The Granary" brand and there was even a carvery option alongside it at one point.

At the time of opening, there were no northbound facilities; just a car park with a linking footbridge to take people to the southbound side. However, in 1980/81, a Little Chef and filling station was built on the northbound side in order to help attract more northbound custom and to also give the services another restaurant option. The southbound building continued to trade as the Granary until it was replaced with a Little Chef in 1988/89. This gave Barnsdale Bar a dual sided Little Chef site.

In the 1980s, the Travelodge was rebuilt in order to give it the up to date "Forte" design of the era.

Owing to its prime location beside the busy A1, Forte gave the southbound Little Chef a Coffee Stop in the 1990s. This later became a Burger King in the Granada era, although it later closed.

In the 2000s, the linking footbridge was demolished as it was no longer needed.

In 2004, both Barnsdale Bar sites closed (under Permira ownership), only to be re-opened in 2005 by Little Chef's new owners People's Restaurant Company. On re-opening the Travelodge became Days Inn, symbolising the breakup of Little Chef and Travelodge. PRC then set about adding Coffee Tempo! to the Little Chef offering on the southbound side in 2006/7 and the site continued to trade as a large Little Chef site.

In 2010 the Shell service stations were demolished and rebuilt, allowing the addition of a Select store on the forecourts, with a Coffee Republic on the go facility. In 2012, it changed to Costa Express.

In 2012, Little Chef Express replaced Coffee Tempo! At a time when then owners R Capital had decided to close 67 branches, this seemed positive for Barnsdale Bar as it reinforced their commitment to the site. Thus it was a complete shock when, in September 2012, more surprise closures were announced and these included Barnsdale Bar. So there ended a long association with Little Chef and it's various parent companies at the site.

Today, the southbound services trades as DD's, an independent and the lodge trades as Southside Lodge which used to be part of the Siestas Inn chain. Within the southbound services, there is also a meeting venue room.

The former Little Chef on the northbound side is now a Pulse & Cocktails Adult Superstore.


Carcroft (A1 northbound, 3 miles)
Blyth (19 miles)
Services on the A1Darrington (A1 southbound, 3 miles)
Ferrybridge (5 miles)
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