Just two years ago, Hitchin Town Centre had been named as a finalist in the Great British High Street Awards 2019. Despite losing out on the crown, Hitchin Town Centre has remained one of the more popular destinations in Hertfordshire. As times and demands change, town centres and high streets across Hertfordshire also need to change to meet the demands of residents and visitors coming from out of town.
As residents return to the cobbled streets around the town centre, we asked the question… ‘what is missing from Hitchin Town Centre?’ In total, we had over 200 individual responses with 40 different suggestions.
Here are the top ten things missing from Hitchin Town Centre.
From 10 to 1, below is a list of the top things voted for by Hitchin residents. Some notable responses that did not make the top ten include a Vietnamese restaurant, a gin bar, toy shop, escape room and art gallery.
10. McDonalds/KFC/Nandos 2%
Would local residents really stomach a McDonalds in Hitchin Town Centre? Would Colonel Sanders be welcomed with open arms? These two fast food giants may bring the Big Mac, finger licking’ chicken and employment but what about the litter and UberEats riders? There are a number of issues that come hand in hand with today’s fast food giants.
9. Record store 3%
Owning music in a psychical format had been on a steady decline since 2010. However, nearly 5 million LPs were purchased in the UK last year alone. Most of these have been online but is there an opportunity for a savvy Hitchin entrepreneur to create a nostalgic record store experience?
8. Live outdoor entertainment 3%
Who doesn’t like getting out and experiencing live outdoor entertainment? Well, in most cases, councils don’t and they tend to be the decision makers on events in public spaces. Post-covid would be ideal for live outdoor entertainment to return to Hitchin Town Centre. The market place offers the space and Hitchin does have plenty of local talent.
7. Vegan restaurant 3%
With plant-based food businesses, festivals, and pop-ups booming, it’s clear that veganism is become a global phenomenon. Because of this changing trend, some larger towns and cities can boast of vegan only restaurants. A Hitchin vegan restaurant could become a reality soon as the demand is clearly there.
6. Independent book store 5%
Picking up 5% of votes, an independent Hitchin book store would probably struggle given that Waterstones is positioned in such a good place but Waterstones itself is currently in a battle online giant Amazon. Independent book stores tend to be more quirky and with the right ‘keeper of books’ behind the till, the experience of buying a book in person is a lot more rewarding than hear the thud of delivery hitting the passage floor.
For the remaining things missing in Hitchin, watch our video below and don’t forget to subscribe.
A brand new Bingo Brunch experience is coming to Watford’s Barrio
On 5th November, the newly opened Barrio venue will launch its bingo brunch concept, La Isla Bonita 80s Brunch, in Watford. Translating to ‘The beautiful island’, La Isla Bonita Brunch aims to recreate that perfect tropical holiday feeling, with food and cocktails galore, bingo mayhem and 80s music all afternoon-long.
Already a popular party experience at Barrio Shoreditch, the 80s themed musical brunch is scheduled to run every Saturday from 12pm, and will include a two-course brunch, welcome cocktail and a variety of bottomless drinks (prosecco, spiced rum sangria and Sol beer).
Once guests have finished tucking into a menu of delicious burgers, including Queso Libre as a vegetarian option and Saint and Sinner as the vegan burger plus Barrio Churros, the musical bingo commences, brought to life by a captivating host and nostalgic 80s tunes by Barrio’s best DJs. Brunch goers can expect witty bingo calls, group singalongs and impromptu tableside performances. Prizes for winning the brunch also include a very tasty £100 bar tab.
For £35 per person, over-21s can enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless drinks and then eat, bingo and party until 5pm.
Those interested can book the first La Isla Bonita 80s Brunch at Barrio Watford for a special launch price of £25 (valid for 5th and 12th Nov brunch dates).
More about Barrio Watford
On 20th October 2022, Barrio Familia opened its first out-of-London venue in Watford, bringing Latin-inspired cocktails, authentic Mexican eats, a killer happy hour offering, live entertainment and DJs, plus an immersive 80s Bingo Bottomless Brunch.
Following the announcement of the group’s flagship site, and world’s largest tequila bar, in Covent Garden which is set to launch in early November, Barrio Familia has opened Watford’s first Tequila bar this month.
Bringing the spirit of the Latin Quarter into Watford, the new venue will have space for up to 200 guests to enjoy a brand new, freshly crafted cocktail menu, delicious Mexican inspired food creations, including their signature tacos, and famous Latino party vibes.
The outside terrace is also being turned into Barrio’s popular tropical yard, offering the perfect space for another 80 guests to gather with like-minded ‘amigos’ and sip cocktails, enjoy a meal and experience a fiesta like never before.
Barrio Familia was acquired by Nightcap in November 2021 and has since gone from strength to strength. New venues; Barrio Watford and Barrio Covent Garden will add to their growing portfolio of sites in Shoreditch, Soho, Angel, and Brixton. After opening the first Barrio site in 2007, the group’s vision was to have a Barrio in every big party neighborhood in the UK and Watford will play a huge role in that exciting expansion.
Each of the Barrio Bars sites offer a full-colour, full-flavour experience, and of course, plenty of Tequila. The group plans to open seven days a week and be the perfect new spot in Watford for all occasions, from lunches and daytime drinks to brunches and late night partying.
Jim Robertson, Managing Director of Barrio Familia, commented:
“We are incredibly excited to be taking our Latino party outside of London for the first time. This is a fantastic venue and we can’t wait to welcome the residents of Watford into the Barrio familia and bring the party! I believe Barrio will be a fantastic addition to Watford High Street that will suit all types of occasions and bring a feel good bar that welcomes everyone. We have some amazing things planned for Barrio Watford, so watch this space and get ready for the biggest fiesta in town!”
The Wellness Hub in Berkhamsted welcomes IV Boost therapy clinic
IV Boost – a renowned IV therapy clinic on London’s Wimpole Street – has opened at The Wellness Hub in Berkhamsted. Founded in 2005 by medical director Dr Joshua Berkowitz, IV Boost takes a holistic approach to health and wellness to help boost and restore the body’s natural ability to be well, energised and able to resist ageing.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr Josh and the IV Boost to The Wellness Hub and are excited to be offering our customers these fantastic IV therapies,” says Emma James, MD and owner The Wellness Hub on Lower Kings Street. “IV Boost prides itself on its medical skills and personalised approach which mirrors our commitment to offering bespoke wellbeing solutions. I have no doubt its services will prove popular in complementing and enhancing our existing range of therapies which include physiotherapy, massage, beauty therapy, sports massage, Pilates, personal training and yoga.”
“We have been very impressed by The Wellness Hub and have been made most welcome here,” says Dr Joshua Berkowitz. “IV therapy is increasingly popular as a means to achieving optimum health and we have been looking for a new clinic outside London to meet the growing demand for our services.
“The Wellness Hub is the perfect site for IV Boost and we look forward to meeting its customers. We recognise that IV therapy will be new to many people and clients can rest assured they will have a consultation before any therapy to ensure it suits their exact needs.”
IV Vitamin Therapy
Intravenous (IV) Vitamin Therapy has been practised for many years, often to support conventional medical treatment of a wide range of health conditions. It is the fastest way to deliver nutrients throughout the body because it bypasses the digestive system and is 90-100% absorbed directly into the organs (compared to 20-50% absorption if taken orally).
A vitamin shot is an intramuscular injection that treats various vitamin deficiencies. It is absorbed into your bloodstream via your muscles. Unlike vitamins taken orally, vitamin shots bypass the digestive system and result in a 90-100% absorption rate. Many people feel the effects within hours of the treatment which takes just a few minutes to administer.
Medical grade ozone is a highly active and reactive form of oxygen which is prepared by a highly skilled practitioner just before being administered. Ozone therapy can restore optimum oxygen levels in the body by increasing the red blood cell count and this, in turn, stimulates the release of oxygen into the body’s tissues.
Diagnostic testing gives a very clear picture of your health and can help pinpoint problems that may be missed through consultation or ‘standard’ blood tests offered by GPs. IV Boost uses a leading London laboratory which offers a very quick turnaround of precise, accurate results.
IV Boost can deliver a range of non-surgical treatments to enhance the appearance and treat the visible signs of ageing. These rejuvenating treatments use the latest evidence-based products and cutting-edge technology to deliver safe, effective and long-lasting effects. Performed to the highest standard, each treatment plan is tailored to address individual concerns to optimise results.
About IV Boost
IV Boost is located in The Wellness Hub, 26 Lower kings road, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2AE
Air Aesthetics & Wellness opens in Christopher Place St Albans
Air Aesthetics & Wellness is a brand new, state-of-the-art clinic in St Albans’ Christopher Place that’s just been launched by Dr Claire Oliver. It promises to bring a touch of ‘Harley Street to Hertfordshire’ with its doctor-led, FDA-cleared treatments that not only help with skin health and rejuvenation from the inside out but also collagen banking and even guaranteed fat loss. Air Aesthetics & Wellness strap-line is: “Still You, but on a really good day.”
What does ‘Still You, but on a really good day’ mean?
Air Aesthetics & Wellness prides itself on its holistic, ethical, and natural results approach to aesthetics and wellness. They strive for beauty and confidence from the inside out and help clients to be the best version of themselves through a 360-degree approach encompassing advanced clinical skincare and rejuvenation, clinical facials, beauty treatments, diet and nutrition, and – just as important – exercise. In short, it’s their aim to turn back time, making you a fresher version of your best self.
The luxury clinic offers pioneering, FDA-approved aesthetic treatments that are not only doctor-led, but that deliver proven and safe results without the need for invasive surgery and downtime. Alongside the treatments, there is a dedicated Wellness Clinic offering advice on nutrition, functional medicine, Menopause/HRT, and intimate female treatments associated with ageing.
Dr Oliver and her team have worked hard for over a decade in Henley in Arden and Birmingham and have won many major awards including ‘Best Clinic – Midlands and Wales’ in the 2021 Aesthetics Awards. They are hopeful that St Albans will be equally well received.
Air Aesthetics is doctor-led. What does that actually mean?
It means they can offer the best, advanced skin rejuvenation treatments available – and you can be safe in the knowledge that you are being treated by a highly trained doctor. Dr Claire Oliver (pictured) is both Medical Director (GDC 70918), and founder, and still leads the clinic. Claire has over 20 years’ experience as an aesthetics practitioner and has dedicated her professional career to the study of skin health and ageing. She remains passionate that healthy skin really is at the heart of looking good, feeling great and being confident in your own skin.
Dr Oliver is supported in St Albans by Dr Zartash Badar, as well as a team of highly skilled, medical aestheticians – three of whom have been employed from the local St Albans area.
What brings you to St Albans?
“I’m extremely excited about launching our clinic in St Albans. We’ve invested over £750,000 in the clinic and will bring Harley Street standards to Hertfordshire. Our mission, at Air, is to make it much easier for clients in St Albans to access doctor-led, 360-degree skin rejuvenation and fat loss solutions in a beautiful clinic environment – without the need to trek into central London,” said Dr Oliver.
What has surprised you most about St Albans?
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the welcome we’ve already received in St Albans: from our neighbours in Christopher Place to residents dropping in, saying hello and stopping to speak. We are keen to partner or work collaboratively with local businesses to create interesting events enhancing the experience St Albans offers – so we’d welcome people to drop by and speak to us,” added Dr Oliver.