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July 25, 2023

Judge sides with purchasers, against widow, in Cobb’s Mill Inn ownership saga

PHOTO | Courtesy 12 Old Mill Road, Weston

The buyers of the Cobb’s Mill Inn in Weston secured a victory Friday in their effort to evict the widow of late restaurateur Andrew Friedman.

Friedman died in 2016, and the financially struggling restaurant closed shortly afterward, court documents show.

Cleves & Siguenza Properties LLC bought his Cobb’s Mill Inn restaurant property at 12 Old Mill Road, Weston in 2022 for $1.1 million.

Friedman’s second wife and widow, Laura Friedman, maintained she was the rightful owner and denied access by locking Cleves & Siguenza out of the building, according to court documents. 

Cleves & Siguenza then started eviction proceedings.

Superior Court Judge Sheila A. Ozalis, in a July 21 decision, sided with Cleves & Siguenza against Laura Friedman and her current boyfriend, Anthony Villano.


The ruling granting Cleves & Siguenza immediate possession of the property came after a three-day bench trial in Stamford in late June. The judge gave the defendants until Aug. 5 to remove their personal property.

Joseph Cherico, a partner with the law firm McCarter & English, represented the plaintiffs Cleves & Siguenza.

Its principals include restaurateurs Kleber and Sandra Siguenza, both of Weston, according to the Secretary of the State’s office.

“We appreciate that the Judge devoted the time necessary to understand the facts of this case, and we are thrilled for our clients Kleber and Sandra Siguenza; they are excited for the day when they can renovate and reopen this special property,” Cherico said.

He said his clients have more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry. 

"They know how much this property means to the community and look forward to restoring it while also preserving its historical significance," Cherico said. "The Siguenzas hope to reestablish the main building at the Cobb's Mill Inn as a wedding and event venue, open both an upscale restaurant and casual lunch and dinner facility, and enhance the use of the outdoor space, which is one of the property’s special features." 

Attorney Jason Messina, who represented Laura Friedman and Villano, could not be reached for comment.

Ozalis noted that Andrew Friedman had been the restaurant’s sole owner, and he last updated his will in 1999. He married Laura Friedman in 2013, and never revised his will to name her as a beneficiary, the ruling states. 

The court concluded that while Laura Friedman negotiated estate issues such as spousal support, an advance distribution and 48% of the estate, she did not negotiate to receive any specific properties. 

Ozalis noted Laura Friedman had done some clerical and hostess work for the restaurant, but hadn’t made any capital contributions toward it. The judge concluded she was entitled to 48% of the net proceeds of the sale of the property, but not the property itself.

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