Rich Man, Po Boy

In 10 years, Memphis has become the center of Orange County's hipperati universe

And it is perhaps here—in the redevelopment of cities such as Costa Mesa and Santa Ana and others like Tustin and Orange—where the Memphis Group's latest endeavor (that is, after becoming Orange County's answer to the Troubadour and opening a gay bar) will have the most impact: the formation of a consulting group, which will aid investors with an interest in purchasing and operating bars and restaurants by recommending and scouting locations, conceptualizing design elements, navigating city ordinances and red tape—even hiring management.

Given that the Memphis Group intends initially to focus on what's already familiar—Costa Mesa and Santa Ana—as well as agree only to work with "like-minded individuals" (there it is again!), it isn't difficult to picture the trio's superbly styled, classy, affordable and positive blend of nightlife popping up in a bar or restaurant every few blocks within the next five years or so.

"It's a logical progression," Valdez says. "You can't keep running and purchasing things by yourself forever. You'll hit a wall."

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