Cantina to become La Rosa Tequileria and Grille

Downtown Santa Rosa eatery gets a new lease on life

Downtown Santa Rosa’s popular Cantina Mexican restaurant is reportedly being taken over by a group of Aspen restaurateurs to reopen as La Rosa Tequileria and Grille in the coming months.
Though details are still emerging, insiders tell BiteClub that a group of five young hospitality pros who popularized a sister Cantina restaurant in Aspen (there is also a Cantina restaurant in Mill Valley) were courted by Santa Rosa’s original owners to revitalize the sagging eatery.
The vision for the new Cantina: “An elevated execution and approach to Mexican and Latin cuisine.” The new business owners are also planning to feature a master collection of high end tequilas for flights, tastings and pairings. The shuttered second floor is slated to reopen later as a sports bar serving more casual fare.
Rumors of the restaurant’s fate have been swirling for several months as construction crews built scaffolding around the exterior of the restaurant and began renovations. In 2007, Cantina was sold to Dudum Sports & Entertainment, a Walnut Creek developer who planned to convert it into a Santana-themed restaurant called Maria, Maria. The Mill Valley Cantina was converted, but closed soon after and has reopened as a Cantina again.
Continued delays in Santa Rosa put the Santana-themed restaurant on ice, and the space was sold in August 2010. After a brief ownership change, the restaurant reverted to the founders of the original Cantina restaurant.