From café closures and major retail units for sale, to exciting new ventures and another street food restaurant, here are all the changes happening in Hitchin town centre in 2024.

Opened, closed and returning

One of the businesses that has closed down is Nibbles, which only opened at 2 The Arcade in June last year, following the closure of the long-established and much-loved Rose Buds Café and Tearoom.

Despite the closure, the owner confirmed to the Comet that an "exciting new venture" would be taking over unit after interest from investors.

The Comet: Nibbles.Nibbles. (Image: Dan Mountney)

"We have had an investment opportunity, given the location and popularity of the site. More is set to be revealed in the coming weeks," he said.

On nearby Sun Street, The Shack is taking over the unit formerly home to Deroka.

The street food business, which serves burgers, chicken wings and tenders, grilled sandwiches and Sunday roasts, already has two restaurants in Barton and Biggleswade.

The Comet: The Shack.The Shack. (Image: Dan Mountney)

An official opening date is yet to be revealed, but the opening has been teased on Instagram in recent weeks.

A returning business comes in the form of Hitchin Priory Hotel, which has reopened as a hotel again after spending the past three years as an events-only venue.

A spokesperson for the hotel said: "We did so much work in the last few years to develop our products and services to ensure our guests can have a memorable experience, and we are committed to growing our products and services better and better.

"As a company, we have a more exciting plan for the future to grow stronger and stronger."

The Comet: Hitchin Priory Hotel.Hitchin Priory Hotel. (Image: Hitchin Historical Society)

What's to come?

After years of standing empty, the units formerly home to Hawkins are thriving once again.

A number of businesses, including cocktail bar Bridgetown Monroe, moved in last year, but even more appear to be setting up shop in Bucklersbury soon.

Six Hills Brewing will be opening in 8 Bucklersbury soon, with the unit currently undergoing a refit.

Six Hills Brewing was started by Paul Clinton in 2017, and their tap room, which was opened in Stevenage High Street in 2019, has been thriving.

They won't be the only new tenants either, with an agreement on a lease for Cheatmeals to take over 3-5 Bucklersbury.

The Comet: The former Hawkins building.The former Hawkins building. (Image: ©2019 Archant)

Serving up a range of burgers, hot dogs, wings and milkshakes, the business was founded in 2016 and has steadily been spreading across London as well as venturing into Hertfordshire with a store in Borehamwood.

The building could also be changing hands soon too, with the units up for sale at a price of £1.75 million.

The biggest change though, could be coming at 9-10 High Street.

PowerHaus Consultancy revealed plans for the major development of the building, with 46 one and two-bedroom apartments built in gabled houses being proposed for the site.

Retail units at High Street level would be retained, with the site stretching from High Street back to Paynes Park.

The Comet: Plans for Hitchin High Street.Plans for Hitchin High Street. (Image: PowerHaus Consultancy)