Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Serenity & Seclusion

By Kathy Gibbons

Seven Hills
Seven Hills community center outdoor lawn space || Courtesy of Seven Hills

A new community gathering space has opened in the heart of Traverse City’s pastoral Old Mission Peninsula. Extending 18 miles into Grand Traverse Bay, the peninsula is a popular destination for winery tours and for those seeking views of orchards and vineyards against the backdrop of the water.

Now, Seven Hills has emerged in a wooded oasis in the middle of it all. Jay Milliken and three partners repurposed and expanded on existing buildings to create Old Mission Distillery, offering tastings as well as cocktails. It shares a spacious lounge-like area with Mission Proper cafe, featuring grab-and-go foods and groceries. Other tenants include a salon and Tinker Studio, with a gallery and makerspace where artists work. There’s also a patio and huge courtyard. Between the indoor and outdoor areas, there’s unlimited potential for group gatherings, Milliken says.

“The interior space is plenty big, and there’s a large communal table in there that we could move out or keep,” he adds. “We have our lounge area, fireplace … [and] modular furniture so we can shape it in different ways.”

Milliken estimates the indoor space could accommodate up to 150—outdoors, even more. Canvas backdrops on the patio will make it possible to heat in the winter. “That would be an extension of the indoors,” he notes.