I write this first blog post of the year with a heavy heart.
While out to dinner tonight, I overheard (from a pretty reliable source) that in the coming months, one of Downtown Santa Ana's foremost restaurants in the Artist's Village will be closing its doors forever.
Memphis at the Santora is one of the pioneering "Hipster" restaurants that set up shop in "DTSA" in the early 2000's. Home to the Cobra Sandwich, stupendous happy hour specials, and some of the best Arnold Palmers around, Memphis is one of those simple comforts that helped this guy believe in the potential of our Downtown, not to mention help this San Diegan call the city of Santa Ana his new home.
Many locals fondly refer to Memphis Santa Ana's version of "Cheers"–a place where everyone knows your name, and I couldn't agree more.
Over the years, Memphis has brought on some amazing and colorful cast members that really gave that spot some spunk and personality. Departed, but not forgotten former cast members including: Johnny, Julio, Greg, Ricky, Kristy, Dave, and more recently Jefferson, still rank high on my personal list of "Most Favorite People I've Met While Doing Time in Santa Ana".
The most ironic part about this news is that Memphis laid the groundwork for all of the restaurants we now have in Downtown Santa Ana today, yet as the dream comes to fruition, the restaurant who dreamed the biggest will end up being just a fond memory.
Why Memphis at the Santora will be closing their doors is an answer I do not have (at the moment). Did the new owner of the Santora Building decide to raise their rent? Did the Owners of Memphis succumb to the fatigue that comes with doing business in a transitional area?
Who knows, but at least the Costa Mesa location will still be around and will hopefully continue to thrive adjacent to The LAB.
Thank you Memphis for all of the great friendships you helped forge, not to mention all of the great memories I've made and lost while sitting at your delightful bar–you will definitely be missed by this guy.