Life just won’t be the same without Alberto’s!

Ever since we moved to Piccotts End in 2004, enjoying a meal with friends at Alberto’s in the Old Town has been a regular part of our lives. Making the short walk from our house in winter, spring or summer was an occasion to look forward to.  The shock news that he’s decided to close after 23 years has depressed me in all sorts of ways. First, we’ve lost a friend we’d always pop in and see when out for an evening stroll; second, we’ll greatly miss the jovial joker who made Alberto’s so popular; and third, there’s now nowhere near as nice to eat! Alberto told me he was giving it all up because he was tired of all the red tape that bedevils running a restaurant today. ‘It’s different on the continent,’ he told me. ‘People just get on with running their restaurants but here you’re forced to write down every last detail of what you’re doing. I’ve had enough.’

Everybody will have their own story about Alberto’s but the one I’ll always cherish was a winter night a few months after we’d moved here. Heavy snowfall meant all the trains were running late and traffic ground to a halt. My wife was stuck in her car, I’d arrived at the station without any house keys and was wondering what I should do. Walking past Alberto’s around 9pm I decided to seek refuge. It turned out that most of the other diners were in the same boat as me, stranded! Alberto was very welcoming even though I only ordered a dessert and a coffee. It was well after 11 by the time we all left.

After spending millions on upgrading the Old Town high street Dacorum Council is now faced with mounting closures. G & H Furnishings, another high street fixture, is also closing its doors next month, bringing the number of empty premises to 7 out of a total of about 30. Another reason to feel depressed.