Carrabba's Founder Arrested Twice in Three-Day Span

In Depth

Damian Mandola, one of the founders of Carrabba’s Italian Bar and Grill, was arrested twice in the last five days on charges of breaking and entering…and intent of theft, and destruction of property, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and holy shit, what are they putting in the pasta at Carrabba’s lately?!

Apparently, this was all part of a feud with a local establishment Duchman Family Winery, near Austin, TX. Mandola had been struggling to sell wine to other restaurants under his own name (the other restaurants didn’t want the name of a rival restaurateur on wine being sold to their customers), and so had turned to a business arrangement with Duchman. In 2010, however, there was a falling-out, and numerous suits and countersuits have since been exchanged between the erstwhile business partners.

On Thursday, Mandola was arrested for breaking and entering with intent to steal a bottle of wine he apparently viewed as his property. Two days later, he was back at Duchman again, this time smashing the window and slashing the tires of a truck belonging to an employee taking pictures of him. He then threatened to kill the employee, because of course he did.

It’s hard to conceive what made the founder of a successful company go so far off the deep end that he’d a) break into a place with which he had a history of legal disputes, and b) decide to come back two days later with deadly weapons just to…show them who’s boss, I guess? It’s difficult to fathom the path between “I will commit ALL THE CRIMES!” and “PROFIT!” Either way, I can’t see how Mandola’s going to wriggle out of this one.

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