Sunday, January 30, 2011

Flint Photos: O'Toole's Family Restaurant

All I remember about O'Toole's on Clio Road is entering through the back door from the parking lot, a cloud of cigarette smoke engulfing the dining area, and the fascinating drinking bird on the tables.

UPDATE: This photo is not the Clio Road location.


  1. They had the best home made pies ever...And wonderful Roast Beef and mashed potatoes..

  2. Awesome! My Grandmother would take me here once a year, usually around Christmas. It was our "date" place. They had cloth napkins iirc which was a big deal for us, at least for me.

  3. Are you sure your photo of the O'Toole's sign is from Clio Rd? The old "King and I" restaurant on Miller Rd. at Bristol (by GM SPO) was renamed O'Toole's a number of years ago. More recently, it was called "My Family Restaurant" and has had another name change a few months ago.,+6104+Miller+Rd,+Swartz+Creek,+Genesee,+Michigan+48473&ll=42.971497,-83.795643&spn=0.036676,0.066175&z=14&layer=c&cbll=42.971561,-83.79543&panoid=TOF3acPfE-Ooi4rKGePCog&cbp=12,337.79,,0,-0.94

  4. Anonymous, you've got to be right on this one. I should have known by the trees and green lawns across the street in the photo — definitely not Clio Road!

    Sorry for the mixup.

  5. Hey, was the Miller Road O'Toole's connected to the Clio Road location? And when did the Clio Road location close? I seem to remember eating there in the eighties, but I'm not quite sure.

  6. This used to be the King and I restaurant. Worked there during that terrible heat wave back in 1987 where the kitchen was hotter inside than outside (at 103F).

    The family who owned it also operated a restuarant toward Chesaning where they served the best cinnamon rolls. Anyone remember the name of that restaurant?

  7. Okay time for an old fart to chime in. O'Tooles on Clio Rd. was right across from the old western store and just north of the car wash.

    My dad worked at SS Kresge in the Northwest shopping center and O'Tooles was his favorite. Sometimes he would take me there for supper.

    We always entered thru the back door. It was a long narrow building. Later became a Mexican restaurant, after O'Tooles relocated to Miller Rd. which is the picture in question.

    O'Tooles had the best and I do mean the BEST cream pies in the world.

    On the other in the hell did a western wear and outfitter ever wind up on Clio Rd. even before it turned into the hood, when we were kids in the 60s and 70s a western store on Clio Rd.????? I don't remember many farms or ranches in the area. That is one of the great mysteries of Clio Rd.

  8. Slick, I used to love the Western store. My family used to go there all the time. We NEVER bought anything. It was like we were visiting a free museum. Always wondered what the deal was with that place.

  9. Thank you sooooo much! Of course, O'Tooles! My husband kept thinking it started with a 'T'..close. Oh, for a slice of their banana cream pie...with real bananas in it!

  10. I use to Own O'Tooles. I bought it from my mother and father..... Thank You for the kind words.... Miss all the friends that enjoyed our cooking.... Wish we were healthy enough to still own and work.... I appreciated all 36years We owned it....

    1. I would give anything to know how to make your Meringue that topped those heavenly pie's....I remember if you didn't get there early for lunch, you wouldn't get a piece of pie.... Love Love Loved it!!!


Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at