The future of Watford town centre is something that must still be preying on the minds of many in the town hall.

There is still no tenant found for John Lewis, and many familiar names have vanished from the high street.

But a walk through often features a new cafe, restaurant or bar. And regular visitors to the Watford Observer website may notice how often stories about restaurants and pubs opening, reopening, or even food reviews are at the top of the most read lists.

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In an era when you can order almost anything online, going out for a meal is one thing you can’t do via the internet - and increasingly it seems to be what people do go out to do.

Some will say there are the delivery services and takeaways, but if the figures for those ‘look inside’ stories about refurbishments are anything to go by, people still like to get out of the house.

The hospitality industry took a hit from Covid but seems to be recovering - even if Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin says it is hard to tempt drinkers back from supermarket beer on the sofa.

Let’s hope pubs, cafes and restaurant owners get the support they need to help them through the cost of living crisis.

It will keep our town centre vibrant, and there certainly seems to be the appetite for it.