Joe the Bartender ran and owned “Joe’s Sushi Bar”, which was an establishment right next to the city aquarium and frequented by ex-aquarium employee and villain, Phishface on a daily basis. It was Phishface’s habit of having Sushi at Joe’s that led to Dick Tracy and his team of detectives to the online scammer.
As becomes obvious in the 9/19/2012 strip, Joe is an homage to the Jackie Gleason character, Joe the Bartender. Jackie used this character to provide tales of his real-life pals from Brooklyn. Telling epic tales to an unseen customer named Mr. Dennehy, Joe the Bartender kept the audience’s attention for long periods of time using only a monologue.