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Hailing from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Divisional Beverage Director Diane Corcoran got her first taste of the hospitality industry working at the country club in her hometown as a teenager. She continued to serve and bartend while attending school at Northern Michigan University, and feeling right at home working in restaurants and behind the bar, it was only natural that she join the School of Hospitality Management to springboard her career.
After graduating, Corcoran spent a few years bartending and managing restaurants in Traverse City, MI, before moving to Las Vegas in 2007 to work for Harrah’s as a Food & Beverage Manager. Following her almost 2-year stint there, she relocated to Arizona where she spent another three years in the industry. Finally, in 2011 at the age of 30, Corcoran made her way to Chicago where she began her tenure at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.
As a member of the opening bar team at River North hotspot RPM Italian, Corcoran quickly shifted into the role of Assistant Beverage Director under the tutelage of mixologist Paul McGee. Her role evolved organically, and at the end of 2014, Corcoran stepped up to the position of Beverage Director, overseeing the bar and spirit programs at RPM Italian, RPM Steak, Bub City, award-winning Three Dots and a Dash, Paris Club Bistro & Bar, and Ramen-san in River North, and assisted with Summer House Santa Monica and Stella Barra in Lincoln Park. She also helped curate the opening cocktail menu, along with Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson, at the much-anticipated spot, Intro.
In addition to overseeing the bar programs of eight restaurants, Corcoran curates all liquor lists and cocktail menus, as well as conducts training sessions for managers and new employees. She is part of the Windy City Smokeout team—Chicago’s premier BBQ and country music festival—where she assists in overseeing the beverage program that caters to 50,000 people over a 3-day weekend. Corcoran has also assisted in crafting the beverage program of Summer House and Stella Barra restaurants in North Bethesda, Maryland, along with the fall opening of RPM Italian in Washington, D.C.
When not learning about spirits or experimenting and crafting cocktails, Corcoran spends as much time as possible outdoors. From running along the lakefront to hiking in her home state of Michigan, she also enjoys catching a Blackhawks game or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Yankees. She frequently hits country music shows at Joe’s on Weed and has fun exploring what Chicago has to offer. Corcoran currently resides in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.