A St Albans pub - set in a former Nationwide branch - has finally opened its doors, having originally been scheduled to open in late 2022.

The first members of the public entered the Saint & Sinner, on St Peters Street, on Wednesday (June 14).

Herts Advertiser: The Saint & Sinner's bar area.The Saint & Sinner's bar area. (Image: Pearce Bates)

The location has been transformed from a building society branch into a stylish bar with historical features by brewery and pub company McMullen & Sons.


The Herts Advertiser attended the site yesterday afternoon (Thursday, June 15) and spoke with the company's head of operations, Matt Cotter.

Herts Advertiser: Booths inside the Saint & Sinner.Booths inside the Saint & Sinner. (Image: Pearce Bates)

Speaking of McMullen's standing in the city, Matt said: "We've operated in St Albans for years, we own The Peahen (on London Road).


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"We are in the market to buy good freehold properties, whether it be pubs or - like this - an old building society or bank, church, whatever it may be that we could potentially get licence for and turn into a pub.

"St Albans is a location that we earmark as being affluent, prosperous.

"(It's) one that will appreciate what we do in a sense of quality and the way that we operate our pubs."

Herts Advertiser: The interior of the Saint & Sinner.The interior of the Saint & Sinner. (Image: Pearce Bates)

Speaking of the difficulties of transforming a Nationwide branch into a pub, Matt continued: "The front part of the building is listed, it's a heritage building.

"The back part is a more recent extension from the building society.

"It's been difficult, in the sense of just making sure we get things right in terms of conservation.

Herts Advertiser: Quieter, cosy, areas of the pub can be found in the listed front of the building.Quieter, cosy, areas of the pub can be found in the listed front of the building. (Image: Pearce Bates)

"It's very important that we retain the charm and character, as with anything planning wise."

The theming of the pub has been based on the name 'the Saint & Sinner', reflecting the duel aspects of the location.

During the day, the 'Saint' aspect of the pub is shown, with customers ordering more food in a lighthearted environment.

Herts Advertiser: Cosy areas have been created to add to the atmosphere.Cosy areas have been created to add to the atmosphere. (Image: Pearce Bates)

'Saint' is also a nod to the city of St Albans, and its history.

By night, the 'Sinner' aspect is shown, with a more drinks-based "high energy" atmosphere expected.

Herts Advertiser: A private dining space is located upstairs.A private dining space is located upstairs. (Image: Pearce Bates)

With the pub delayed since 2022, McMullens has kept on the original team that were set to staff the establishment.

The team has been spread across various McMullen pubs over the past months, including St Albans' The Peahen.

Herts Advertiser: Themed paintings and furniture reflect the 'Saint & Sinner' theme.Themed paintings and furniture reflect the 'Saint & Sinner' theme. (Image: Pearce Bates)

Matt added: "It's good to finally get it open. We're really excited about the future of it.

"Our manager here, Phil, has recruited a super team!"