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Dear Answer Man, what happened to Joe, the shoe shine guy who has been in the subway of the Kahler forever? I noticed Friday that he’s gone, along with his chair. He’s a Rochester icon and will be missed. I wonder if he has relocated? Thank you. Terri

Dear All Knowing Answer Man, some of us are troubled: Our shoe shine man, Joe, who has been in the subway of the Kahler right down from the Mayo Clinic Store, is gone. We asked, and nobody seems to know where he is. One person told us that Kahler asked him to leave. A good spot for him would be by Bruegger’s bagels and Daube’s bakery. Please find him. Joe provided a great service to visitors and Mayo employees. We want him back downtown.

Three readers let me know about Joe’s disappearance on Friday, and I put some shoe leather into finding the answer over the weekend. A Kahler Grand Hotel official confirmed that Dr. Joe’s Shoe Shine Clinic has moved on (without further details) and said Joe Mooney might relocate to the Shops at University Square, a block away.

I can’t find a working phone number for Joe, and according to Mark Steege, in the leasing office at University Square, he had an inquiry from Joe on Friday but doesn’t have more to report on the subject. I’m quite sure I’ll have more to report on Tuesday.

(On another subject, Mark says he’s close to having a deal to fill the Sopra Sotto space on the main floor of the shopping center at South Broadway and First Street. I’ll have more to report on that one anon, also.)

Rochester Magazine had an excellent feature on Joe Mooney back in 2008, by the way. At that time, Joe said, “I would say 52 years I’ve been shining shoes I’ve been shining since I was 8, off and on. I like the people in Rochester. They don’t ask questions about where you’ve been, who you know. All they want to know is where you’re going.”

He also said for that article, “One guy said, ‘Don’t I know you?’ I asked if he went down to the Kahler Hotel or the Subway. I said, ‘I’m the shoe shine guy.’ It’s exciting to feel like I’m somebody. And I’m just the shoe guy. It feels good to be wanted.”

You’re still wanted, and we want to know where you’re going, Joe. Give me a call and tell me your plans.
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