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Joe's Diner is a restaurant and cafe found within the town of Patience, Colorado. Despite its name, its owner and operator is Dan Twelvetrees, the adoptive father of another of the town's residents, Asta Twelvetrees. The restaurant is so named in honor of one of Dan's fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War, who was killed in action. Dan blamed himself for Joe's death, but eventually came to accept that it wasn't his fault and that he needed to honor Joe's life. This restaurant serves as a popular hangout spot for many of the town's locals.


Harry Vanderspeigle, an alien passing as a human by the same name, was called into Patience to perform an autopsy on the body of Sam Hodges, the town doctor. Afterwards, he was tapped to temporarily fill the role of the town doctor himself. Following his first day on the job, the nurse Asta Twelvetrees took him to Joe's Diner and introduced him to her adoptive father, Dan. Dan was wary of Vanderspeigle, telling his daughter that while he got a bad feeling about most men she hung out with, he did not get any feelings of off Vanderspeigle.

Despite this, Vanderspeigle became a regular customer at Joe's Diner, often stopping by for breakfast or lunch. Sometimes during these visits, he was accosted by the boy Max Hawthorne, who could see through to his true alien form and was attempting to expose him. It was at this restaurant, with the aid Max's friend Sahar, that the two eventually negotiated a truce. Later, when Vanderspeigle was badly injured, Asta learned his true nature and brought him here and hid him in the freezer, as the cold was beneficial to his species. Dan found the two of them and was wary of having an alien in his freezer, but nevertheless keep the town's sheriff, Mike Thompson, from finding out about the situation. Vanderspeigle then revealed that his injured leg was poisoning him and needed to be cut off. Asta had Dan get a meat cleaver, but was unable to do the deed herself, so Dan did it instead.

Not long after this incident, Asta Twelvetrees discovered that her daughter Jay was now working part-time at the diner. It had only just recently become generally known that Jay was Asta's daughter, as she had given her up for adoption. Furthermore, up until then, Jay had been interning at the same clinic where Asta worked as a nurse. Asta asked Dan if it was really a good idea for Jay to be working at the diner, but he simply pointed out that she was friends with an alien.