‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Fans Want to Know When This Beloved Character Will Return to the Show

Over the years, fans of Grey’s Anatomy have seen their fair share of characters come and go.

Fan favorites like George O’Malley and Dr. Derek Shepard both suffered tragic deaths that left fans reeling. Dr. Preston Burke went away to Switzerland but showed up years later to take away yet another fan favorite, Dr. Christina Yang.

But then there’s the quiet disappearance of the smaller, yet well-loved character, Joe, the friendly owner of the Emerald City Bar.

Joe’s disappearance hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, many fans are longing for his return. So, where’s he at, why’d he leave, and what other characters are long overdue for a comeback?

Where’s Joe?

The cast of Grey's Anatomy posing for a photo
The cast of Grey’s Anatomy | Donato Sardella/WireImage

Joe the bar owner (we never did learn his last name) was played by 38-year-old actor Steven W. Bailey. According to IMDb, the last time we saw Joe was way back in 2010 during the season 7 episode entitled “Slow Night, So Long.”

In case you need a refresher on what happened in this episode, Derek had just received his grant for the Alzheimer’s study, Mark and Lexie were still alive, and Christina was dealing with the trauma of the recent shooting by working as a bartender at Joe’s bar. The last time we saw Joe on screen he was looking on as Owen carried a drunk Christina out of the bar. 

So, where’s the actor that played Joe now? After he left Grey’s Anatomy he appeared in five episodes of another Shonda Rhimes hit, Scandal. He then appeared on Longmire, Shameless, and Modern Family. Bailey’s last credited appearance was Modern Family in 2018. 

Why’d he have to go?

Joe wasn’t a regular character on Grey’s Anatomy, but he did make a frequent appearance, showing up in 33 episodes altogether. He was obviously loved by fans, and as the years went by, we started to learn more about Joe and his private life.

But Joe’s exit from the show was likely a necessary part of the show’s plotline. While Grey’s Anatomy started out as a show about young interns, it progressed into a show that revolved around grown adults who had growing responsibilities. The characters started to get married, have kids, and become attendees at the hospital.

Who else is gone?

If the above video didn’t get you craving a reunion of old cast members, we don’t know what will. There are plenty of old favorites that we have had to say goodbye to.

It’s obvious that fans would love to see Christina and many fans are itching to see the chaos that the return of Izzy Stevens would bring, but the actors and the staff at the show have made it pretty clear that these two likely won’t return.

Dr. Addison Montgomery left Seattle in favor of a new job in California but made a few appearances after she left. However, it’s been a long time since we have seen the famous redhead walk the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial and fans would no doubt tune in for her return. 

Another fan favorite — Dr. Callie Torres. Callie left Seattle to follow her girlfriend Penny to New York. But when her ex-wife Arizona Robbins left the show a few seasons back, it was clear that there might be a future for the two of them.

Does this leave an opening for the two characters to return? Shonda Rhimes said that Arizona’s exit was necessary for storylines to progress, but there’s still hope. Arizona and Callie are both still alive and kicking, so you never know.

New blood is great, but bringing back a few old favorites, even for a couple of episodes would surely bring new life to the show.