Drew Friedman — a longtime downtown landowner who, as a founder of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, and landlord of restaurants like Onion Alley, Bobby Q’s and Acqua gave locally owned businesses space on Main Street, and influenced the entire downtown area — has died. He was 86.
There was a moment of silence this morning at “Weston Speak Up,” an annual affair in that town. Friedman was a presence in Weston as the owner of Cobb’s Mill Inn. He bought the iconic restaurant — with ducks and a waterfall — in 2011.
Freidman sold his Bobby Q’s building in November 2014, for $9.2 million. He owned it for 31 years, renting to tenants like Onion Alley, Shoe Inn and the “Born to Explore” TV show.
His downtown holdings once included the original Westport Public Library building on the Post Road between Main Street and Parker Harding Plaza (now Starbucks and Freshii). He also owned Post Road property beyond downtown.
Friedman owned other commercial property in Westport too. Last May, he bought the 10-acre Stonehenge property in Ridgefield for $1,990,000.
Friedman’s wife Bobbi — a noted painter, sculptor and dancer — died in 2011. After her death, he married Laura Papallo.