Caitlin Corcoran

Managing Partner of Ça Va

Caitlin Corcoran is a Kansas City native who started as a competitive barista and coffee trainer before entering the bartending industry. She has almost two decades of experience in hospitality. 

In 2014, Caitlin won the Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition, just before coming on board with Ça Va, a Midwestern French bistro and champagne bar, six months after its opening. Caitlin is a Level II Certified Sommelier, and at Ça Va, Kansas City’s first and only Champagne bar, they have champagne and sparkling wine from every corner of the world. She created and hosts wine classes and events at Ça Va with that expertise, and has positioned it as one of the nation’s top wine bars by Wine Enthusiast. Caitlin also founded a weekly study group of informal wine and hospitality, “The Gang of Pour,” in 2015.

Caitlin was recently awarded a James Beard Foundation fellowship with the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program for female food industry entrepreneurs and restaurant owners at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. WEL helps to grow their careers and scale their businesses.

What is it about KC that inspires creativity in you?
The cool thing about Kansas City, is we’re a small enough market that regardless of the industry, you know each other. If you want to do something collaboratively, it easy to do that. KC breeds a lot of really unique ideas through the intersection of disciplines. 

What is your favorite spot in Kansas City?
I love Beardsley Road during the spring time; not only does it smells like honeysuckle, but you can look out over the Missouri River and into [the neighboring state of] Kansas. Also, the sculpture garden at The Nelson. The Henry Moore at the southeast corner is nostalgic for me.

Where's your favorite place outside of Kansas City?
Oaxaca, a southern state in Mexico. The food is amazing, and where a lot of what we consider Mexican dishes come from like mole [MOLE-ay] and mezcal. It’s the hotbed of gastronomy. It’s just a gorgeous area as well. 

What's your most treasured possession?
Probably my passport. I love to travel. It’s tied to my happiness.

Who's your favorite fictional hero?
Iggy Threadgoode from Fried Green Tomatoes. She’s a little rough around the edges; gambling in speakeasies, sipping whiskey till the early morning down by the train tracks.  Also loyal as all get out, hell she barbecued her best friend’s abuser. 

Who do you most admire in real-life?
Immigrants! They are the strongest, most hard working people out there. To relocate or flee from your country of origin with not much besides what's on your back, and promise of a better future and life takes the utmost courage. 

When and where are you happiest?
Hosting a party. Whether that be at Ça Va, at a friend’s house or at another city. Just pouring drinks, and creating the atmosphere and vibe of a party.

I love KC. That’s it. 816.

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