You offer your ideas for Harpenden’s former NatWest bank building...

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:13 30 July 2018

Former NatWest building in Harpenden High Street.

Former NatWest building in Harpenden High Street.


The future of the town’s former NatWest bank building has fuelled debate on the Enjoy Harpenden More Facebook page this week.

It’s now been over two months since the High Street branch closed its doors, and we asked members to offer their suggestions as to what could take its place, bearing in mind the rent is around £100K a year.

Restaurant chains were top of the list, including Wagamama, Wahaca and Nandos.

“Wagamama is the only thing missing in Harpenden!” said Dhanmita Boodhna.

Steve Greatorex pointed out: “A Mexican restaurant, it’s the only genre we don’t have.”

And Victoria Graham added her tuppence worth: “American diner for families or a Comptoir Libanais [Lebanese canteen].”

Apart from a restaurant, members also mooted a Wilkos or Poundland, and although there was an element of tongue in cheek about whether the town was too posh for these chains, Hannah Henman pointed out: “Wilkos is everyday branded items - nothing bad about Wilko.”

Paul Lakatos was thinking outside the box when he suggested: “A nightclub for the over 40s. Cocktails and dancing till 3am. That would make some heads explode more than a McDonald’s.”

His comments prompted a flurry of memories about nightclubs of yore, complete with sticky floors, and Dovile Hayes added her take on the concept: “Cocktail bar for over 40s, nightclub downstairs and creche upstairs!”

Kathryn Weston suggested grocery chain Whole Foods, which only sells food and beverages which don’t include hydrogenated fats or artificial flavours, colours, sweeteners or preservatives.

Diana Davies was thinking more about the asthetics of a restaurant: “Somewhere you can go for a meal and hear the others on your table talk, ie with some form of insultation like soft furnishings, curtains to absorb the noise.”

But some people were still mourning the loss of the bank, as Michelle Russell said: “Another NatWest! Hate the schlep into St Albans!”

The prize for most outlandish idea has to be given to Sanjeev Rehan, who offered the provocative suggestion: “Spearmint Rhino!”

There are always plenty of lively discussions on our Facebook page, so why not pop along and get involved in the debate?

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