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Joe Parker's Saloon (shown in drawing with the bald Parker tending bar) was located in the Catalpa hotel from 1913 to 1920. It was one of the Courthouse Square saloons earlier immortalized in the college song, "I want to go back to Michigan" ("back to Joe's and the orient, back to some of the money I spent"). The song was written a few years earlier, when the Orient Saloon was on North Main St. opposite the Courthouse and Joe's was a block South. A tile mosaic with the name "Joe" in script can still be seen on the floor inside the former corner entrance to the saloon at Ann St. and Fourth Ave.

In the 1890s the home became the Arlington Hotel, and later the Catalpa Hotel. The hotels claimed to be unsuccessful enterprises and the building became Joe Parker's tavern. When prohibition struck, the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce bought the building. Although the building is now a bookstore, the word "Joe" is spelled out in tile in the floor signifying the intricate history of the building.