Brightside Opens its Doors in Exeter

Loungers has opened its very first roadside restaurant, Brightside. The new brand’s first site to launch, which opened on Friday 10th February, will serve drivers on the A38 in Kennford, south of Exeter. 

The former Route 5 site on the A38 at Haldon Hill has been completely transformed. Evoking memories and excitement of childhood road trips, visitors are greeted by a look that is warm, fun and modern yet feels very familiar and nostalgic.   

The almost cinematic interior scheme takes inspiration from the 1970s and 80s, caravan interiors, classic road trip movies and memories of roadside dining and holidays from a bygone era. The walls are panelled in rich cherry wood veneer inset with British landscape artwork, stone, and a vintage countryside view mural, while the floor is covered in wooden parquet. 

The dining area is furnished with creamy Formica-topped tables with mid-century inspired dining chairs and booths upholstered with orange and brown striped bus seat fabric. The nostalgia continues in the bathrooms compete with avocado bathroom fittings and terrazzo flooring, and outside with crazy paving flooring, caravan awnings to the windows, concrete leaf block screen walls and raised planters. 

Brightside’s menu features elevated comfort food, including breakfasts with potato croquettes and a tasty new take on the classic tinned tomato; sourdough pizzas with homemade San Marzano tomato sauce topped with mozzarella; and a unique adaptation of the classic ham, egg and chips, featuring treacle-cured pork belly and waffle fries, with a charred pineapple and chilli salsa. Dessert-lovers can enjoy a delicious selection of sunny sundaes, or grab a slice of cake for the road. Brightside is family-friendly, with lots on offer for little ones. There are also be plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. 

Alex Reilley, Founder and Chairman of Loungers plc, said: “We’re delighted to finally welcome customers through the doors of our very first Brightside. We hope our guests will enjoy our reinterpretation of roadside dining, giving them the chance to stop and relax in warm, welcoming and stylish surroundings while enjoying some really excellent, wholesome food and top-notch hospitality. 

“Our vision is for Brightside to reinvigorate roadside dining and for it to become an integral part of people’s plans. Travelling shouldn’t just be about the destination – we want to encourage people to enjoy the journey. 

“We believe Brightside will really shake up what has become an uninspiring sector, and that there is potential to roll out Brightside across the UK in the coming years. Our expertise in high-quality, great value all-day dining through our other brands means that we’re confident that Brightside can bring proper hospitality back to roadside dining across the UK.”    

Brightside will share the same core values as Loungers’ Lounge and Cosy Club brands – a focus on all-day dining to appeal to a broad audience, a fierce commitment to value-for-money, run by teams that deliver exceptional service. Brightside restaurants will be friendly, warm and wholesome and will endeavour to bring back the pleasure of heading out and exploring.  

Loungers believes there is scope to create a truly national brand and has ambitious plans to roll out Brightside to all corners of the UK in the coming years. Earmarked sites will be situated predominantly on A roads with a focus on bringing genuine hospitality back to the roadside.