Restaurateur Damian Mandola has been charged with burglary of a building at a winery adjacent to his Hill Country eatery, Trattoria Lisina. The 61-year-old founder of the Carrabba's restaurant chain was booked into the Hays County Jail on April 3, and was released after posting a $5,000 bond.
This isn't the first time Mandola has received unwanted attention since moving to the small town of Driftwood; in 2009, Jeff and Patty Maddux, neighbors of Mandola and his wife, Trina, accused the Mandolas of having their three Swiss mountain dogs killed. The Madduxes believed the dogs were slain because one of them accidentally crushed the Mandolas' beloved poodle, Peppermint. (And people think Driftwood is just a sleepy little town!)
The Mandolas denied the accusations about the dogs.
Hays County Sheriff's Department public information officers were not available on Friday afternoon to offer more details about the arrest.
Mandola did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, and he could not be reached at Trattoria Lisina, but we'll update you if we hear back.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.