Cafe Europe closes May 10, 2015. Photo from Cafe Europe.

Cafe Europe closes May 10, 2015. Photo from Cafe Europe.

Auf Wiedersehen Cafe Europe.

The Santa Rosa German-style eatery (104 Calistoga Road, Santa Rosa) will shutter May 10 after 23 years of schnitzel slinging. “We extend generous and heartfelt gratitude to our customers, the long-term faithful and the newcomers alike,” said chef/owner Herbert Zacher.

The St. Francis Shopping Center space will be reborn as J Cafe and Grill in early June with military and restaurant veteran James Horton in the kitchen.

Injured during a military deployment to Iraq, Horton decided to parlay his lifelong interest in cooking into a degree at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. The menu will feature fresh takes on simple, comfort foods like breakfast omelets, buttermilk pancakes and scrambles along with lunchtime burgers, patty melts, club sandwiches, soups and salads.

We like that there are a number of interesting “healthy choices” like an Italian veggie hoagie, lemon basil shrimp pasta and chicken pita burgers with yogurt sauce. Dinner is in the works, but the restaurant will focus on breakfast and lunch at opening. Horton hopes to “give back” to fellow military vets by offering fundraising events for charities like Sonoma County Vet Connect, and have prices reasonable (most dishes are under $10) to keep the restaurant approachable for all.

Horton’s wife Tiffani will serve as both baker and front of house, and local restaurateur Norman Carver will serve as sous chef. Watch for opening details.