Boukas: Make New Friends, But Keep the Old
Boukas: Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

It’s always good to start a column with a cliché, right?

Cliché or not, “make new friends but keep the old” is an adage I have always lived by – both professionally and personally. In fact, two of my closest friends are ones I’ve had since fifth grade. They stuck with me during braces, my grunge .....

It’s always good to start a column with a cliché, right?

Cliché or not, “make new friends but keep the old” is an adage I have always lived by – both professionally and personally. In fact, two of my closest friends are ones I’ve had since fifth grade. They stuck with me during braces, my grunge phase and my tireless dedication to boy bands - and now they’re stuck with me for life.

Professionally, I’ve learned that two people (or businesses) aren’t always a match, and the ones you click with, you should stick with. For me, one of those clients that I clicked with from the get-go was Four Corners Tavern Group, masters of the sports bar and owners of Chicago’s best-loved establishments.

As a person whose television preferences lean more toward Keeping Up with the Kardashians than Monday Night Football, a sports bar isn’t somewhere I normally go. But when my IU fan boyfriend wants to catch a game at Kirkwood, I happily tag along, knowing that I get to chow down on Four Corners’ signature buffalo rolls and tater tots and sip on an ice-cold Allagash White.

I started working with Four Corners for the first time in 2007, to promote the opening of WestEnd, a sports bar in the West Loop, a neighborhood that was just starting to gentrify. I instantly clicked with Director Ryan Indovina, and over the past seven years have built a rapport that spans everything from brainstorming PR and marketing ideas to dissecting the latest episode of Saturday Night Live.

Even after I left the agency I was with at the time, I remained friends with Ryan, and watched Four Corners’ impressive expansion from the sidelines. (FYI, that was a sports reference!) In the years we were apart, the company opened Benchmark and Crossing, took ownership of Lincoln Park mainstay Ranalli’s and opened neighborhood wine bar Trellis.

This year, I introduced Four Corners to No Limit Agency, most importantly because I knew it would be a good fit for both parties, but selfishly because I was in the process of joining the No Limit Agency team. When starting anything new, it’s much easier to do it surrounded by people you are comfortable with, right? My first day of work coincided with the first day of Four Corners’ contract. Funny how things work out.

In the first six weeks of working together, we have managed to secure a good deal of press based on events at existing properties and the opening of the re-imagined Gaslight - a fish taco and beer haven with an incredible outdoor patio. (Pro tip: Try the shrimp tostadas!)

With the upcoming opening of Highline Bar + Lounge in River North this fall and a ton of other exciting expansion plans in the works, I’m excited to be along for the ride. Again.

The key lesson? Nurture your professional relationships. You never know where you (or they) will end up. And don’t burn bridges.

Or use clichés.

I know… I’m the pot calling the kettle black.

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