Feud between restaurant and winery lands Carrabba’s founder in jail

An employee at the winery took this picture of Mandola in the parking lot with a hammer and knife in his hand.

DRIFTWOOD, Texas (KXAN) — A feud between a neighboring winery and restaurant led to two different arrests for a well-known Italian food restauranteur.

Damian Mandola was arrested on Thursday when deputies say he admitted to breaking into the Duchman Winery in Driftwood to steal a bottle of wine. Court documents say two females at the winery locked themselves in an office while the burglary was taking place.

Just two days later, Mandola again was arrested at the Duchman Winery, this time for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief.

Court documents say a winery employee found Mandola in the parking lot with a hammer and knife in his hand. That employee took a picture of the restaurant owner holding the weapons which deputies charge Mandola used to slash the tires and smash the window of a truck belonging to the winery employee who took the photos.

The employee told deputies Mandola threatened to kill him.

Mandola is the founder of popular Italian food restaurants Carrabba’s and Mandola’s Italian Market. He also owns La Trattoria Lisina which sits right next to the Duchman Winery.

The winery and the restaurant were built as a partnership but the relationship between owners soured in 2010, leading to a split and lawsuits filed between the two businesses.

The name “Lisina” is a combination of the names Lisa and Trina, the wives of the two owners.

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