Former Windmill Market has new focus as ‘The Mill’
Originally published in the Spring 2019 edition of Portico Eastern Shore
A sign outside The Mill – formerly Windmill Market – sums it up: “A Place for Family & Friends to Smile, Eat, Drink & Play!”
New owners Elizabeth and Wells Hammock (a pediatric dentist) want it to be fun for children, and adults too. There is an assortment of outdoor games like bocce, corn hole, and ping pong for kids, and inside there are three restaurants, an ice cream counter, and a brew pub. They took over recently from previous owners Mac and Gina Walcott, who redeveloped the property back in 2009 on the former site of a car dealership.
“We wanted to do something community-driven,” says Elizabeth. “We knew the Walcotts and knew they were looking to sell. We thought we could do something special with the property, and here we are.”
The 6,500-square-feet “market” was once divided into separate kiosks where artisans and craftsmen sold their wares alongside a small farmer’s market. Now the space is bright, open, and airy. The existing Ox Kitchen continues to operate along with mainstay Mary Ann’s Deli. Newcomer businesses are Cereal Killer, Sundae School and Taps at the Mill.
The iconic three-blade windmill (which provides a portion of electricity for the business) remains on the site, at the corner of Bancroft and Equality in downtown Fairhope. Elizabeth, whose background is in investment and finance, says the new name pays homage to the previous incarnation as well as her own heritage – she grew up in New Hampshire, and her parents were from a town in Massachusetts that had a textile mill. Hence the name!
Going to the Eastern Shore soon? Plan a visit to the The Mill located at 85 North Bancroft St., Fairhope, AL 36532.