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Capitol Hill business owner providing some lockdown joy by picking up the tab for donuts, bubbly, and COVID-19 lockdown treats

Zapata and Footprint Wine owner Kenneth Dillon (Image: Christine Zapata)

Isolation and self-quarantine are wearing on everybody right now, but Dr. Christine Zapata wants to brighten your day with a treat from a Capitol Hill business. Some examples so far have been free coffee and donuts from General Porpoise, or a free bottle of champagne from Footprint Wine Tap.

Every Friday through the weeks of Seattle’s lockdown, Zapata has taken to social media and announced a prepaid tab at a local business. We first noticed her in the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook Group. Just “Put it on Dr. Christine’s tab,” the posts say. The tabs are anywhere from $100 to $150, and they’ve been selling out faster and faster now that the word is out.

“I think because we put it on social media, and because we’ve done it the last few weeks, people are waiting to see when I post, tabs have gone a lot quicker,” Zapata said.

The General Porpoise tab was gone within a few hours, but the $150 prepaid bottles of Treveri Cellars Brut Blanc de Blancs from Footprint were sold within the first ten minutes of the store opening.

While social media can be filled with overdone “pay it forward” stunts, Zapata’s posts seem genuinely dedicated to the neighborhood. And, heck, getting a free treat or a good deal is pretty fun. The giving seems to be joining the plywood art galleries, and the anonymous $10,000 donations to support local businesses in need bringing some random bits of happiness in Capitol Hill’s COVID-19 lockdown.

And you’re also right — there are lots of people who could use a boost right now. CHS wrote about some ideas for assisting groups helping homeless and under sheltered neighbors here. The Capitol Hill Arts District Streaming Film Festival this week benefits the COVID-19 Artists Trust Relief Fund. You can also give to the COVID-19 Response Fund via the Seattle Foundation. The Seattle Times also has a huge list of Seattle-related COVID-19 giving opportunities here.

Zapata, the owner and clinic director of E Madison’s Emerald City Spinal Care, said she started the tabs from early in the COVID-19 restrictions. “I wanted to spread some joy and happiness in people’s day,” she said. “I wanted to do what I could to try and support our small business community, being a small business owner myself.”

Emerald City Spinal Care remains open providing chiropractic treatment for migraines, back problems, or other ailments. Zapata also noted another problem her patients complained of: isolation.

Zapata started up her first tab at Mighty O Donuts the first week of lockdown. The rest of the Emerald City Spinal Care crew helps find businesses to support, but the tabs are all paid for by Zapata.

“I knew that this was going to be well received, but I didn’t think this would gain the attention that it has,” she said. “I’ve had people send me messages saying that I’m a national treasure, and that they’re really inspired by me opening up these tabs. I had somebody say recently that they always looked forward to these posts to see where I open up tabs, because to them it seems like a virtual food tour through Capitol Hill,” Zapata said.

Zapata plans on prepaying tabs for as long as she can and hopes maybe a few others might be inspired to also help give people a surprise treat while supporting local businesses across the Hill.

You can learn more and check out Zapata’s social media offerings at

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11 thoughts on “Capitol Hill business owner providing some lockdown joy by picking up the tab for donuts, bubbly, and COVID-19 lockdown treats

    • This is a person out there doing something positive for her community during a very trying time. She’s not part of the 1%er problem tearing Seattle apart. She’s out there doing good, which I don’t see any of the actual 1%ers doing.
      Thank you Dr. Christene!

      • Look harder at what? A small business owner helping out their community and other small businesses? Your anger is entirely misplaced. Make Amazon pay taxes? Yes. Rent Strikes? Yes. Crapping all over a person helping out the community? Nah.

  1. I’m appreciative of Dr. Christine’s interest in bringing awareness to local small shops. That said, the Dr. is in an practice that relies on increasing awareness and interest in her practice (ie; not a doctor that is urgent).

    I find this to be a ploy.

    When Covid is over, I for one am not in a business where if I spend money weekly to “spread the joy” I would get benefit. That said, I am monitoring my ‘lack of spend’ and when we open up plan to donate all my few months of savings to my favorite bar tenders, waiters/waitresses, etc… with the ask that they then go re-spend in the neighborhood. To date since I’ve stopped frequenting establishments, I will be donating at least $3,000

    • Shockingly, if you always go looking for the negative in any situation, you can find it….if you look hard enough.

      Congratulations to you for that I guess.

      Seriously, if a person who is out in the community spreading joy and supporting local businesses upsets you because they might get some ‘awareness’ from it….I don’t know what to tell you.

      Also, as a side note, all those establishments you have stopped frequenting are hurting NOW. Unfortunately, many of them may not make it through summer.

      My point is, if you really care about those establishments and are in a position to do so, the time to help them is NOW.

      You know, like what Dr. Christine is doing.

  2. Who cares if it has potential to build affinity for her practice? It’s free stuff. I think it’s neat! Wouldn’t you rather have the opportunity for some donuts or other local good versus a direct mail postcard with your name on it? Instead she’s finding a win-win-win to help bring smiles to both consumers and local biz…and hopefully make some new friends in the process.

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