A full-service Mexican inspired restaurant and tequila bar in Seattle, The Matador is a feast for both the taste buds and the eyes. “We have really tried to create an authentic experience for our diners, and all the furniture and wood design is crafted in house by me and my team of designers,” says owner Zak Melang. “Our goal is to make everyone have a wonderful dining experience as soon as they walk through the doors.”

A wonderful experience is not, however, how Melang would describe the last months. “COVID-19 had a devastating impact on our business initially,” he says. “For a while, we had to reduce our 400+ staff to just two and struggle though closure and vastly reduced offerings. We now feel so fortunate that the CARES ACT was able to help us restore roughly 70 percent of our headcount.”

As they emerge from the darkest days of the pandemic, Melang and team are excited to partner with Columbia Bank’s Pass It On Project. So many are looking for help and that is why The Matador is providing meals to a local hospital and Columbia Bank is picking up the tab. “We are providing meals to a local hospital,” says Melang. “First responders are in such a critical position, and with Columbia Bank picking up the check, we are going to help these heroes in any way we can.”