On a crisp summer evening, I met up with local resident Kyle Corcoran over a Topo Chico and an Americano. We sat at the bar at Sip of Hope and chatted about his newest promotion, his new life in Logan Square, and giving back to the community through the game of baseball. Corcoran is the exhibit manager at Corcoran Expositions and a founding member of the Chicago White Sox Charities Young Professional Council.
How long have you lived in Logan Square?
Just over two years.
Where were you before moving to Logan Square?
I was in the Lake View/Roscoe Village area, but I grew up in La Grange. I went to school at Michigan State where I played baseball, and then came back to the city where I worked for KPMG for about six years.
Why did you choose Logan Square?
My sister actually lives in the neighborhood; she’s about a 10-minute walk down the street from us. My wife and I have always used her, her husband, and their family as our training wheels to see what we want to do or take our time on. They moved to Logan Square about two years before us, so we were always hanging out over here, and we really loved the neighborhood. It was more of a natural progression, because even though we were living in West Lakeview, we found ourselves spending most of our time on the West Side, in Bucktown and Logan Square. One of my best friends also lives just a few blocks north of us.
What do you love about living here?
Living as close to the city as we do, we were looking for a neighborhood feel, something that felt like more of a community as opposed to an urban neighborhood. With Logan Square, you get the best of both worlds: there are nice restaurants, and there’s a more vibrant culture on the West Side as opposed to the North Side. It was a welcomed change to what we were seeing. Though we’ve been living here for 2 years, it still feels like we’re finding something new every week.
Where are some of your favorite hangouts?
My wife and I go to Paulie Gee’s all the time, probably an unhealthy amount.
I don’t know if there’s an unhealthy amount…
If there is, we’re pretty close. Their Detroit-style pizza is amazing and we’re there probably at least once a week. We’ll grab a cocktail at Estereo and then walk across the street to Paulie Gee’s. We live not too far from Lonesome Rose, which is one of our favorite spots. They also have a speakeasy bar underneath, and their truck stop nachos are something you should check out. We live close to The 606, so when the weather is nice we’ll hop on the trailhead east or west and stop off at a neighborhood. The trail is also a healthy reminder to stay active.
In the past two years you’ve been in Logan Square, have you seen a lot of change in the area?
We’re on the 1800 block of California and there’s new construction everywhere, on really all of California. For us, it’s exciting to see people and businesses wanting to join the neighborhood. We love our neighbors, whether it’s a new neighbor or someone who has been living there for a long time, everyone gets along well.
What do you do for work?
I’m an Exhibit Manager for Corcoran Expositions, a family company that my dad, Tom Corcoran started over 29 years ago; we now have around 40 employees. I also have a younger brother and older sister, and we all work together, we’re like The Partridge Family. Corcoran Expositions is a third party service provider that serves as an outsourcing agent for sales, promotions, and sponsorship for most associations. So for example, if there is a professional association that holds an annual meeting, we provide the service of organizing the event and convention component. Since most of the organizations we work with are nonprofit, they’re more likely to outsource as opposed to hiring staff. We can offer an entire team of professionals with expertise in the trade show and convention industry for the same price that it would cost to hire one or two staff.
What kind of associations do you work with?
There are around 40 shows that we run for different associations. We started with the National Beer Wholesalers Association, but have a wide range of clients, from the Water Quality Association to neurological surgery.
How do you give back to the community?
I’m a founding member of the Chicago White Sox Charities Young Professional Council, which I’ve been a part of since 2016. We’re the charity arm of the White Sox, and we organize a number of events throughout the year for the Chicago White Sox charities. To date, we’ve raised over $35,000 through our annual events. One of the charities we work with is the Chicago White Sox RBI Program, a youth baseball program for inner-city youth that has now grown to include 360 youth on 24 teams.
Learn more about the Chicago White Sox RBI Program here.
“Socializing the neighborhood” is at the core of the LoganSquarist mission, so we introduce readers to interesting and unique residents throughout Logan Square in our Know Your Neighbor column. If you know someone who would be ideal for to feature, let us know.
Featured photo: Courtesy Kyle Corcoran