Some towns have water towers, others iconic buildings. Buckeye, Ariz. has Hobo Joe.
“This mythical character that was thought up. He was supposed to be an enigmatic character, a connoisseur of good food,” said Charlene Powers with the Buckeye Mainstreet Coalition.
The 22-foot tall fiberglass statue of a renaissance hobo is the lone survivor of three statues that once stood in Buckeye.
“He’s easy going, chill. But he’s super smart. He reads the Wall Street Journal,” Lara Serbin, also with the Buckeye Mainstreet Coalition.
Hobo Joe was the face of a string of coffee shops with the same name across the southwest, but for decades, the 22-foot porcelain statue has basically been in storage. Now the Buckeye Mainstreet Coalition is working to restore Hobo Joe and erect him in historic downtown Buckeye. There are even Hobo Joe t-shirts, the proceeds of which go back to save Hobo Joe.
“To get him back up and restored is about $20,000 to $25,000,” said Powers
“He’s just part of the downtown Buckeye area. He’s been here since the early 80’s and everyone who grew up here liked going by and seeing him,” said Tony Youngker, owner of cafe 25:35 next to where Hobo Joe is planned to be erected. Youngker is giving up parking space for Hobo Joe at 5th and Monroe Ave. in downtown Buckeye.
The Buckeye Mainstreet Coalition hopes to have Hobo Joe up in Buckeye by the end of the year.