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Whatever happened to The Light Bite?

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    Whatever happened to The Light Bite?

    or was it spelt Lite Bite?

    Obviously I know what happened-same as happened to Littlewoods cafes of which I was reminded by Lang Spoon in the National Dish thread.

    But as a chain that seemed to be on many 70s High Streets it seems to have no internet nostalgia presence, no Wikipedia entry, nada.

    Any info about it gratefully received and feel free to use this thread for other lost high street chains.

    #2
    I think we used to have one in Helensburgh, on Sinclair Street, and I remember eating a bit of cake there with my mum when I was about six or eight and feeling very grown up because it seemed like a proper, adult sort of cafe.

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      #3
      Bring back Jolyon's.

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        #4
        A few more defunct stores here:

        https://www.eightieskids.com/12-more...-you-remember/

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          #5
          Was the Lite Bite a Scottish thing?

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            #6
            Has Happy Shopper gone or been rebounded? Premier seems to be the corner shop branding of choice now.

            There were also Happy Eater service stations with a logo that looked like Pacman puking.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Nefertiti2 View Post
              Was the Lite Bite a Scottish thing?
              The Lite Bite was/were the cafe part of the Glasgow based City Bakeries who disappeared 25+ years ago, I presume as a casualty of the all conquering Greggs.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Patrick Thistle View Post
                Has Happy Shopper gone or been rebounded? Premier seems to be the corner shop branding of choice now.
                Premier is Tesco trying to give the appearance of not being a monopoly.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Patrick Thistle View Post
                  There were also Happy Eater service stations with a logo that looked like Pacman puking.
                  ...and Little Chef. I couldn't work out the difference between those places, tbh.

                  I recall eating in one of the latter emporia (through a complete lack of any other choice) and finding myself sat next to somebody who ordered six bowls of corn flakes to arrive at the same time.

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                    #10
                    Was that where the Jam's Saturday's Kids went?

                    "Saturdays boys live life with insults,
                    Drink lots of beer and wait for half time results,
                    Afternoon tea in the light-a-bite, chat up the girls, they dig it!"

                    A confusing schedule, were they at home watching Grandstand until 3.45 pm and then went off for a cuppa? Unlikely they were in the pub, not much football coverage there in the 1970s. Maybe the barman had Peter Jones on the radio.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
                      ...and Little Chef.
                      Little Chef did an optimistic rebrand with Heston Blumenthal sometime in the 2000s. It wasn't a roaring success, ims.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by tee rex View Post
                        Was that where the Jam's Saturday's Kids went?

                        "Saturdays boys live life with insults,
                        Drink lots of beer and wait for half time results,
                        Afternoon tea in the light-a-bite, chat up the girls, they dig it!"

                        A confusing schedule, were they at home watching Grandstand until 3.45 pm and then went off for a cuppa? Unlikely they were in the pub, not much football coverage there in the 1970s. Maybe the barman had Peter Jones on the radio.
                        To be fair, a lot of Jam lyrics are not very well thought through. Down in a tube station at midnight with a takeaway curry on the way home to the wife who will apparently be lining up the cutlery and pulling out the cork. Not my fucking wife. She'd have pulled a few corks and be fast asleep on the bathroom floor by that time having emptied the biscuit barrel. And does the tube even run until midnight?
                        Anyway, I think he got a kicking. Deserved it being that late home with his wife's tea.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Benjm View Post

                          Little Chef did an optimistic rebrand with Heston Blumenthal sometime in the 2000s. It wasn't a roaring success, ims.
                          Nah, it was a total publicity stunt. There was a documentary on Channel 4 about it, and it was clear that they had sort of been set up by Little Chef to do one or two locations but the documentary to be broadcast to millions. (To be fair, there was a couple of scenes where one of Blumenthals chefs/assistants revealed himself to be a total snobbish git.) There was a moment where the MD of Little Chef sort of gave the game away that he was in it for the publicity and if it meant him being the "bad guy" in the story then so be it.

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                            #14
                            Only now remembering Oliver's caffs, think they might have been Scottish only too.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Snake Plissken View Post

                              Nah, it was a total publicity stunt. There was a documentary on Channel 4 about it, and it was clear that they had sort of been set up by Little Chef to do one or two locations but the documentary to be broadcast to millions. (To be fair, there was a couple of scenes where one of Blumenthals chefs/assistants revealed himself to be a total snobbish git.) There was a moment where the MD of Little Chef sort of gave the game away that he was in it for the publicity and if it meant him being the "bad guy" in the story then so be it.
                              Thanks, Snake. Interesting that HB was basically played there. There were some real stinkers in his line of products for Waitrose, prompting the question of why he would suppose that his particular vision would transfer to mass industrial catering, other than his judgement being skewed by ego and cash.

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                                #16


                                The south and south West had the Cadena chain

                                does the Wimpy Bar belong here, too?

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                                  #17
                                  Yes, I think so. (I also mentioned Jolyons' - or J Lyons - tea shops upthread, but nobody's bitten, as indeed it were. All too damn young, no doubt.)

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                                    #18
                                    I don’t think it was entirely Scottish even if the City Bakers were its origins- The Jam lyrics for one, and Ms Felicity (Edinburgh born but entirely raised in Leicester and Norwich) for another.

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
                                      Yes, I think so. (I also mentioned Jolyons' - or J Lyons - tea shops upthread, but nobody's bitten, as indeed it were. All too damn young, no doubt.)
                                      Don’t think I ever went to a Joe Lyons but a flat mate in 80s Wolverhampton used to call our freestanding curly coat rack ‘the Joe Lyons’ so I’m guessing most branches had one.

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                                        #20
                                        A brand new Wimpy opened in Shrewsbury a couple of years ago. I mentioned it on here at the time.

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                                          #21
                                          Happy Eaters and Little Chefs always remind me of meeting up with my grandpa and my grandmummy when she had Alzheimer's. I always ordered new potatoes with butter. My grandmummy couldn't speak by that point but she could feed herself her lunch. My grandpa always dressed her immaculately in twin sets and pearls and had her hair done weekly. I don't think my grandmummy had any idea who I was at that point, but it made my grandpa happy that she was spending time with me, so I went once a month for years. Probably from about age 11-14.

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                                            #22
                                            Am amazed to learn the Pancake Place is still in business in Dundee, Dunfermline, Dumfries and eh Perth and Elgin to ruin the alliteration.

                                            ended up with the doc on a call out to my gaff as my tongue swelled alarmingly and a rash spread over my body after a visit to the Kdy Branch age 13. Fuck knows what I was allergic to in the pancake batter, ice cream or toffee sauce.

                                            I miss the Pizza Gallery in Perth and Dunfermline (and very possibly elsewhere), which combined good for the 80s pizza with bad art on the walls. Seemed dead classy in like 1985.
                                            Last edited by Lang Spoon; 12-02-2020, 23:12.

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                                              #23
                                              Originally posted by Erskine Bridges View Post

                                              To be fair, a lot of Jam lyrics are not very well thought through. Down in a tube station at midnight with a takeaway curry on the way home to the wife who will apparently be lining up the cutlery and pulling out the cork. Not my fucking wife. She'd have pulled a few corks and be fast asleep on the bathroom floor by that time having emptied the biscuit barrel. And does the tube even run until midnight?
                                              Anyway, I think he got a kicking. Deserved it being that late home with his wife's tea.
                                              There's a wonderfully funny archived thread from some website or other from 2004 on this song to be found here:

                                              https://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSele...threadid=33212

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by Jah Womble View Post
                                                Yes, I think so. (I also mentioned Jolyons' - or J Lyons - tea shops upthread, but nobody's bitten, as indeed it were. All too damn young, no doubt.)
                                                Oh, Lyons, yes – the "Jolyons" didn't mean anything to me, but I know of the tea shops by name though not from experience.
                                                On a similar note, anyone remember National Milk Bars? The one in Aberystwyth was the first ever place I ate in the town, but though I lived there for over eight years afterwards I never went back in there. When I revisited the town in 2014 it had finally gone, and I learned subsequently the chain had gone bust in the meantime sadly. I never realised before that it was a largely Welsh thing, too, I believe.

                                                I grew up stopping in Little Chefs to break the long car journeys across country from Wales to stay with family in Norfolk and London. Our favourite was at Warmington near Peterborough (not to be confused with Walmington-on-Sea), where we would religiously pause for hot buttered teacakes before diving into the wilderness of north Norfolk. The last one I recall stopping in was in the Cotswolds about three years back.
                                                Back when I was little, about one stop in ten we'd go to a Happy Eater instead. I don't remember anything about their menus as such, nor if there was any tangible difference from Little Chefs, but they used to have play facilities outside – the kind of thing where you'd have a sort of 10-foot anthropomorphic oak tree or somesuch made of fibreglass/plastic/something, with stairs built inside and a slide. This was always terribly exciting. I can't recall the last time I set foot in one: I can't have been significantly older than 10, I should imagine. For years though we continued to pass one in North London somewhere, Apex Corner I think, before the chain ultimately disappeared.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by Sporting View Post

                                                  There's a wonderfully funny archived thread from some website or other from 2004 on this song to be found here:

                                                  https://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSele...threadid=33212

                                                  That's very good, (and very long).

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