The majority of the city has been closed since December but as the high street prepare to reopen from April 12th, what can people expect?
Just 20 miles from London, St Albans in Hertfordshire is a historic market town with a legendary twice-weekly charter market and a vibrant high street with independent shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants that cannot wait to open their doors once again.
Denise Parsons, Manager at St Albans BID (Business Improvement District) is optimistic and says: “The community has worked hard to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and there is huge excitement and confidence as we prepare to reopen. Our new outdoor seating areas and increased signage and pedestrianised areas will ensure people enjoy St Albans safely and we have a created a calendar of inspired outdoor events and markets to keep people entertained.”
Local business owners are overjoyed to welcome people back in store. Andrew Masi of independent men’s tailoring store Waterers – established in St Albans in 1934 said: “We’ve pulled out all the stops to give people the best shopping experience after such a long time. Our store has had a complete revamp and we are opening with a huge clearance sale, offering up to 70% off. St Albans has always been a booming city and we cannot wait to welcome people back once again.”
St Albans has a famous café and pub culture and these businesses have faced some of the strictest restrictions during the pandemic. Sean Hughes, of Dylans on George Street is proud of how local hospitality businesses have innovated through the challenges and says: “We cannot wait to get back to what we do best, offering the Great British pub experience and more importantly the incredible St Albans Pub experience which is unique and shrouded in over a thousand years of history.”
There are some exciting new names in town. The Art Deco inspired Albans Well pub and kitchen on St Peter’s St, opens on April 13th for outdoor bookings with a range of beers and cask ales, a gin emporium, new and old world wines and sumptuous cocktails. Struggling to work from home? Head to Pluto – the new workspace in Christopher Place where you can book ‘pods’ for the private and personal space you need to get things done. Craving some wholesome food? Then Leafy will not disappoint! The Scandi inspired build-your-own salad bar is packed with fresh and delicious combinations. Pick up coffee and enjoy views of the Cathedral at the new café Crunch or enjoy some gourmet, artisan treats at Conatur Deli now open on French Row.
Alongside the famous twice-weekly charter market, which reopens on Wednesday 14th April, there is a packed calendar of outdoor events planned to keep people entertained, including: alternative markets, pop-up markets and food festivals. Visit https://www.enjoystalbans.com/whats-on for details.
Road closures introduced last year on High Street, George Street and Market Place remain in place to prevent crowded pavements. New bench style seating has been installed along with gorgeous spring planters to enhance the high street as shops reopen.
For the latest news, events and shopping and hospitality directory visit www.EnjoyStAlbans.com