Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University admitted today that after nearly 15 years of study, they have yet figure out a method of remembering which street is home to Joe’s Inn, a popular Fan District eatery that consistently manages to hide itself deep within the neighborhood’s depths.
“From what we know, Joe’s is located on one of those streets that begins with ‘S,’ I think…Stuart or Shields maybe? Though perhaps it’s on Stafford,” said frustrated lead researcher David Lowe, driving around the Fan after completing five unsuccessful turns in an attempt to find the restaurant, known for its large pasta dishes and regular customers who somehow manage to locate the establishment on a consistent basis. “Seriously, what the shit? Why can’t I ever remember which street it’s on?”
In an initial study conducted in 2003 using laboratory mice, the animals were dropped at a random location near Boulevard, and, using electromagnetic signals sent to their brain, were instructed to walk southeast to Joe’s Inn. Nine mice in the control group were unable to find Joe’s, became disoriented, and incorrectly turned onto Strawberry, Rowland and North Meadow streets. All failed to find the eatery and were eventually put to sleep.
A 10th mouse was injected with the equivalent of 13 beers and also told to find Joe’s, but passed out in a bush on Hanover Avenue before the variable was able to complete the test.
Fan resident Jen Haddad said Joe’s is one of her favorite local restaurants, albeit one one that remains largely impossible to find.
“Finding Joe’s in the maze of the inner Fan is like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” the 24-year-old said. “So what I mean by that is that Joe’s would be the needle, and the haystack would be like the Fan.”
Added Haddad: “It’s an analogy.”