Lexington's Old Mill is one of the town's most recognizable and well-known landmarks. Ironically, it's also one of its hidden gems.
In a town with no shortage of strip shopping centers, many of which cater to large national or regional chains, the old refurbished and re-purposed cotton mill, built in 1891, is a growing hub of locally owned businesses.
Those who have never been to the Old Mill, or haven't been in awhile, are being encouraged to do so Thursday afternoon from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. That's when the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center will be holding its "Business After Hours." The event is open to the public as well as chamber members and local business people.
The event will feature refreshments and wine, music provided by "The Jug Band" in The Watershed performance and meeting speace, a free photo booth, and book signings at Rainy Day Pal Used Books, according to Ernie Chartier who, along with wife and chef Leslie, own and operate Cafe Chartier.
"We're pretty much trying to get everybody aware of what's in here," said Lisa Overocker, owner of Lisa's Candle Corner, the mill's newest occupant, which opened on March 6 and carries not only a wide array of candles and accessories, but numerous gift items and handmade items from local craftspeople, including her wood-working husband.
"All the people we talk to still don't really know what's in here," Overocker said. "We have a lot to offer to the whole community, so merchants are getting together and we're all donating things for gift baskets and door prizes.
"We're hoping that by doing this it will bring more people in and they can see what's in here and let other people know," she added. "There's a lot in here, and people just don't really realize it."
In addition to Overocker's shop, and Cafe Chartier, The Watershed, and Rainy Day Pal, and a Mass Mutual insurance agency and the Pink Lotus yoga center, the mill hosts a slew of other shops, restaurants, and offices.
- Bella-Riley's Salon & Spa
- Cathleens Daughter Antiques, Vintage Clothing and Jewelry
- Creekside Restaurant
- The Cotton Grill
- M. Gallery Interiors
- Splash Omnimedia
- The Center for Dance Education
- Iron Mary's Crossfit Gym
- James P. Larose Companies
- Indoor Cycling
- Old Mill Indoor Rowing
- The Drawing Board
- Pieces & Patches
"It'll be a great event," said the Chartiers on their Facebook page. "Please come out after work and bring your friends or a date! We're providing refreshments upstairs and downstairs and providing the concert and the photo booth. Come join us!"