January has seen plenty of excitement as new businesses opened across Hertfordshire, but lots of sadness as beloved stores closed.

Here's five businesses that opened or closed this month.

1. The Shack - Hitchin

A new street food restaurant serving burgers and grilled sandwiches is set to open in Hitchin.

The Shack is taking over the Sun Street unit formerly home to Deroka, but an official opening date is yet to be revealed.

Herts Advertiser: The Shack is coming to Hitchin.The Shack is coming to Hitchin. (Image: Dan Mountney)

Serving up burgers, chicken wings and tenders, grilled sandwiches and Sunday roasts, the business joins the burgeoning street food scene in Hitchin, which includes the likes of Chicken George, Cantina Carnitas, Cawsburger and Café 77.

The Shack already has two restaurants in Biggleswade and Barton.

2. Peckers - Stevenage

The co-owners of a Hitchin restaurant and takeaway have discussed their plans for a new eatery, after an application was submitted for Stevenage.

Our reporter, Pearce Bates, spoke with Sanjay and Rishi Chandarana at Hitchin's Peckers, after the brothers submitted plans to Stevenage Borough Council for a new Peckers in Unit 3, Kenilworth Close.

Herts Advertiser: Peckers have plans for a Stevenage store.Peckers have plans for a Stevenage store. (Image: Pearce Bates)

"We see Stevenage as a town which has a lot of potential and it doesn't have a huge amount of options (for similar chicken restaurants)," said Rishi.

"Stevenage really comes to mind because of the two Budgens stores that we have just outside in Watton and Walkern.

"The thing they've always said is that they lack a good quality takeaway. So we felt that we could bring the Peckers brand into Stevenage."

3. Pivora - Great Ashby

A new Mediterranean restaurant and takeaway in Great Ashby has been met with high praise from customers.

The team from Lavish Bar and Grill in Stevenage High Street have opened a second location, called Pivora, at The Neighbourhood Centre in Whitehorse Lane.

Herts Advertiser: Pivora in Great Ashby.Pivora in Great Ashby. (Image: Newsquest)

The new restaurant focuses primarily on takeaways, but there is a small seating area for customers.

One customer said: "Just had a takeaway from Pivora. All I can say is wow! Absolutely amazing! Food was delicious, generous portion size and great value for money. If you haven’t already, give it a go. Can’t wait already for the next time."

4. Wilko - St Albans

Wilko is continuing its national store roll out across the country, with a new store set to open at the Maltings in St Albans.

The retail chain closed the last of its Hertfordshire chains - including St Albans and Stevenage - back in October, but the brand was bought by The Range owners CDS Superstores.

Launch dates for the St Albans and Rotherham stores will be in spring 2024, with exact timings to be announced at a later date, alongside news of further store openings.

5. Boots - Welwyn Garden City

One of Welwyn Garden City's Boots stores is set to close down later this year.

Herts Advertiser: Boots is closing its Peartree store.Boots is closing its Peartree store. (Image: Google Maps)

The store at 126 Peartree Lane will shut down on March 9, with customers being advised to head the site in Cole Green Lane to pick up prescriptions.

The decisions has been met with disappointment from Welwyn Garden City residents, with many describing it as a "shame".

"What a shame. They always do repeat prescriptions correctly and on time," said one resident.