Flue foils kitchen remodel

Should structure be sealed or removed?

Q: Our house, built in 1931, has a traditional fireplace in the living room, but there is also what appears to be a slim brick fireplace in the kitchen — although I can’t see where the opening was — it appears to be more of a brick flue from floor to ceiling.

Are you familiar with this type of thing? The flue does exit the roof like a traditional chimney and we have it capped to keep out rain and protect against embers and sparks. But it is blocking us from opening up the kitchen the way we’d like.

I don’t know that it should be completely removed, but it would somehow have to be sealed somewhere — between the kitchen’s ceiling and the home’s roof, perhaps?