History of European Street Cafe

European Street Cafe is an evolution of the former German deli, Mr. Dunderbak’s franchise. The Zarka family began operating the franchised restaurant and store in September of 1980. Thirty years ago, Lew, our patriarch, took his kids, Andy, Meg, the Reverend Lt .Col.(sel), Dr. Tony Bologna, and Carrie to work with him. Jacqui and other grandchildren followed not long after. He guided and taught them, as well as the rest of the staff, to treat every customer as if they had a C note in their pocket, ready to tip them for their exemplary service. Mary, our matriarch, not only ran the family home, she set the standard for clean and organized. With the same precision that she immaculately kept the home, she inspected the corners of the cafe daily, inspiring the staff with virtue and honesty, as she expertly balanced the books.

The menu was written on chalkboards, pickles were cut by hand, cheese plates were served on boards, mustards were offered in ceramic crocs, and beers were offered in large, dimpled steins. Sauerkraut, sausages and Reuben sandwiches served on rye and pumpernickel breads dominated the menu. Over the next few decades, the deli developed a more international fare, taking on fresh baked baguettes, croissants and ciabatta filled with olive mixes, French and Danish cheeses and crisp spring mix. Modern society witnessed the Berlin wall come down, and a broader range of European treats are now offered at European Street Cafe today.

In the early days, the cafe served ten different beers on tap, and over 50 imported bottle beers from around the globe. We were the first establishment in North Florida to offer such variety. In 2010, the number of beers we offer has tripled. Now, in addition to over 20 different draft beers at each of our four locations, we offer over 150 bottles of the finest brews, claiming the coveted title of Folio’s Best Beer Selection in North Florida.