Long-time Houston restaurateur Damian Mandola had a bad weekend. The founder of Damian's Cucina Italiana in Midtown and the Carrabba's Italian Grill chain with his nephew Johnny Carrabba was arrested twice for incidents at the Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood.
On Thursday, Mandola was arrested for driving recklessly in a golf cart and breaking into the winery, allegedly to steal a bottle of wine. On Saturday, Mandola was arrested a second time after an employee alleged that Mandola threatened him with a hammer and damaged property at the winery, according to a detailed report in the Houston Press (the story includes a picture of Mandola holding a hammer).
Mandola has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief in the second incident. He was released on Sunday on a $15,000 bond.
Mandola originally owned Duchman and named it the Mandola Estate Winery. He subsequently sold it to Lisa and Stan Duchman several years ago. Mandola continues to own Italian restaurant Trattoria Lisina, which is located next to the winery.
The Hays County Sheriff's Office referred a request for comment to the county District Attorney's Office, which did not immediately return a phone call.