The Closing Of Cobb’s Mill

No one went to Cobb’s Mill for the food.

The ducks, yes.

The waterfall, sure.

The whole New England-in-the-woods experience — that’s what kept people coming.

Wedding receptions, birthday celebrations, retirement lunches — that was Cobb’s Mill’s stock in trade.

Celebrants must search elsewhere now.

The restaurant — called “the longest continuously operated food service established in Connecticut” — closed earlier this month.

Former Weston 1st selectman George Guidera — who bought it with his son-in-law in 2006, and left his longtime law practice to run Cobb’s Mill — put plenty of money into it.  He upgraded the building, the service and the food.

But Cobb’s Mill was no match for the current economy.  With $130,050 in property taxes past due, foreclosure was inevitable.

Guidera intends to make good on wages owed to former employees.

Despite his improvements, no one went to Cobb’s Mill for the food.

But plenty of people today wish they could eat there one more time.

16 responses to “The Closing Of Cobb’s Mill

  1. Former resident and avid “06880” reader Gary Singer sent this along:

    Growing up and living in the Westport/Weston area in the1930s on, there were probably 100 restaurants of every size, shape and menu available. Most came and disappeared.

    But there was one constant: Cobb’s Mill Inn. That’s where you went for that special Saturday
    night dinner. Or Sunday brunch. Or 5 pm cocktails near the waterfall any night. Or a surprise birthday or anniversary gathering. Cobb’s Mill is where you took the out of town guest, or the potential business associate, or the client.

    And, or course, for a wedding. I doubt that anyone has cataloged the number of weddings and wedding receptions held either in one of the two or three wonderfully festive areas within, or in the garden, along the water that cascaded
    over the waterfall. As a Justice of the Peace, I presided over more than 30; from informal small weddings, to a formal, black-tie wedding with a string quartet from the Boston Symphony.

    Many caring owners or managers, from Julie Jones & Harry Graf to George Guidera, did all in their power to make any occasion a meaningful one, and to make any customer an important one. It is a shame that George was defeated by a failing economy, especially in his home town, a town he served so well for so many years.

    One can only hope it will flourish once again, so new occasions, weddings and memories will
    live on.

  2. first the longest opperating Gay bar and now the longest food establishment- sad these “instutions” succumming to the changing times-

  3. Each of these closings is met with lamentations, but where were the customers?

  4. Pity. Cobbs Mill was a grand old dame.

    In the past several years, Cobbs Mill seemed to focus on catering and not so much on the casual diner. Prices remained high. Other expensive restaurants in the state, such as the Copper Beech Inn, have opened bistros inside the larger restaurant. You go to the large restaurant for fancy occasions and the smaller one for weeknight meals. Cobbs Mill never made that transition, and their efforts of making it more casual came too late. I live less than two miles from Cobbs Mill and enjoy eating out, but I take my dining dollars to places that are less expensive and more casual. The new restaurants in Georgetown fit that bill, as do many eateries in Westport.

  5. Perhaps, like a Firebird, Cobbs Mill will rise again from the cleansing ashes of bankruptcy and restructuring. And next time, with a clean slate, a new menu?

  6. Linda Gramatky Smith

    If anyone could have made a go of bringing back Cobb’s Mill Inn it was George Guidera. He and his son-in-law and staff worked very hard, made lots of changes and actually turned it around and made money for a while. Then the economy tanked. I feel sad that it is closing. But it wasn’t because a huge effort to bring it back wasn’t made. Thanks, George! (Our Staples reunion was going to go there for drinks and eats in September on a Friday night, and everyone was so excited to come from around the country to see what George had done!)

  7. You can’t run a restaurant on a name alone. Cobb’s Mill looked shabby from the outside. The front evergreen tree was beautiful when it was lit, but one of the string of lights didn’t work for a couple of years, and it gave the impression that they weren’t taking care of the details. I did go dine there twice in the past year, and both times, it was dangerous leaving at night when it was dark. There were no footlights to show the stairs, which are uneven pieces of stone. It did not look like an welcoming place to eat.

  8. Janet Filling

    Cobb’s Mill was where Jim and I had our first CT dinner before we were even married and would go every Christmas season with Greg. Sad indeed!

  9. First the Three Bears and now Cobbs Mill…that leaves The Red Barn to pick up the slack…

    Very sad…

    We go to Bernard’s in Ridgefield now and yes, they have a bistro…

  10. Dick Lowenstein

    What will happen to that magnificent pewter bar downstairs? The bar was salvaged from the SS Normandie, which burned at its pier in N.Y.C. in 1942. (Too big for our house!)

  11. Don’t forget that the Silvermine Tavern was another charming old-timer that couldn’t survive the times.

  12. Lisa Drenckhahn

    I unfortunatly wasn’t aware of the closing of this wonderful place until just recently. My husband proposed to me in this restaurant on Christmas Eve in 1988. We continued to go there every year at Christmas time. Eventually bringing our children to join in this tradition. Our family will miss it!

  13. Was the most special place my darling husband and I traveled to a year ago, December. There was nothing around like it. Was trying to make reservations and shocked to find out we couldn’t go back again this year. We thought the food and service were magnificent. This is very sad. Perhaps they’ll find a way to start anew. Thank you Sherry and Bernardo for making our vow renewal special last year. We’ll never forget how well you treated us.

  14. Shock and disbelief. Raised in Wilton and now living in NYC, I relished dinner at the waterfall as the capstone of a special weekend. The food was often excellent, especially the prime rib. Here’s hoping for a re-invention soon, and our thanks to George Guidera for his passion and commitment. Really hard to fathom!

  15. I was married at the Cobbs Mill Inn… twice! My husband (then fiance) and I decided to get quietly married prior to all of the hoopla of our upcoming Valentine’s Day ’09 wedding at the Cobbs Mill Inn. So, in the exact same spot in front of the fireplace, by the same priest, we were privately married in December ’08. Our vision was to celebrate all of our anniversaries and all special occasions there. Having had twin boys in February, I was planning on booking our Christening celebration there, but now, with a heavy heart, we will have to find a new place to call “our place”. I can only hope someone will revive this magical location.

  16. Dose anyone know of any family members who owned the rest. back in the 60s.? My uncle worked there when he was in college.