Just before Christmas, Eater reported that Tom Douglas had temporarily closed Cantina Leña after just one month in business. The kitchen's enormous roasting pit had been venting into the apartments above the restaurant, causing problems for residents. Douglas had considered relocating his Belltown restaurant, but he's now set to re-open after finding a solution for the ventilation issues.
Douglas explained the issues to Eater:
We have paused the Cantina to try and solve the exhaust issues rather than continuing to have the residents of the Martin Building deal with it. If we were a small restaurant group we might not have been able to do that but we are not. It was the right decision while we work to fix the problem.
Our Neighbors have been very patient while we tried all the fixes we and the exhaust scrubber manufacturer could think of. We think the food and beverages are delicious and hope to reopen asap.
The solution, according to Zagat, is that all meat-cooking activities will take place at Douglas's Palace Kitchen across the street, which just added a new smoker. The meat for Leña is meant to be cooked ahead anyway, so that's that. Zagat reports that Cantina Leña should be up and running again starting February 1.