Close to the Bicester Village shopping centre and a Tesco supermarket with its own filling station is this large service area. The site is currently under redevelopment and will soon include two new drive-thru units.
Trivia and History
Bicester opened as a Happy Eater in the 1980s. As a popular site, it was one of the first to be converted to a Little Chef. Granada added a Burger King and a Coffee Tempo! soon followed, although that later became Little Chef Express.
Following the addition of several new junctions on the A41, turning it from a fast road to an urban one, many of the road signs referring to the service area were taken down in 2011. It is now regarded as a local facility rather than a major road facility.
There was another Little Chef in Bicester town (London Road), which closed at the same time as the new Bicester branch opened. This one had opened in the 1980s.
This filling station was formerly operated by Esso and in late 2015, an extension was built on the left side of the shop for the Greggs.
Euro Garages' rights to the Little Chef name expired in January 2018. It had been hoped that the restaurant would have been converted to something else before then, but having acquired such a large and busy site, they weren't sure what to do with it. The restaurant lived on under the holding name EG Diner until summer 2018 when it finally closed.
As they now owned both the forecourt and the restaurant, in February 2018 Euro Garages proposed re-building the whole site, and suggested brands such as Burger King, Starbucks and Leon could be introduced alongside two drive thru restaurants and a drive thru coffee shop. This plan was rejected by Oxfordshire County Council who suggested that it would be "cramped", "poor quality", as well as criticising the appearance of the buildings and the consequences for road safety.
The plan was eventually approved in November 2019 and, following the coronavirus lockdown, work started in Spring 2020 with the former Little Chef and Burger King combination building demolished to make way for the Starbucks Drive Thru and a new Burger King Drive Thru unit being built on currently unused land at the back of the filling station. The Burger King Drive Thru opened in September 2020 with the Starbucks Drive Thru also expected to open before the end of 2020.
Pioneer Way, the road serving a local housing estate, was recently added to the service area.
|Family Farm (A34, 4 miles)||Services on the A41||none nearby|
|Family Farm (A34 northbound, 4 miles)||Euro Garages services||none nearby|