About Us

 

BACK HOME TO MICHIGAN

                You know you can travel all over this United States and not find a place that offers all that Northern Michigan does.
 Springtime is beautiful with all the flowers and the forest coming back to life after the sleep of winter.  The summers are a perfect temperature, just right during the day and cool and refreshing at night.  The lakes are inviting and the beaches are just waiting for you to bring your picnic lunch and jump in the clear, cool water.  And Golf courses everywhere!!  Take your pick.
                And then there is the fall – You don’t have to go east to see beautiful color because it is all right here in upper Michigan.  Hunting for all sort of game is available and the game is plentiful.
                There is an abundance of winter sports to keep the whole family happy with skiing and miles and miles of snowmobile trails.
                When you put the four seasons all together with all they have to offer, it’s easy to understand why Dan and Betty O’Brien decided to “retire” here in Mio.  In July 2007, they bought the “Mio Songbird Motel” on the main street, Morenci Avenue, right across from the Oscoda County Courthouse, which was completed in May of 1889.  Dan had been traveling through Mio all of his life going to the hunting cabin that his parents had bought up by Clear Lake north of Atlanta.  After Dan and Betty were married they continued the summer trips up with their 3 children.  The kids always referred to the “Kirkland Warble Monument” and the 100 pound canary when they were small and, of course, they always looked for the “Pink Elephant”.
                Dan and Betty were both raised in Oakland County and graduated from Holly High School where they started going together in the 11th grade.  They were married one year after graduation.  Dan had always been an avid skier and at one time was the Ski School Director at Pine Knob.  After a ski trip to Aspen one year, he came home and said we are moving to Colorado.  Well, it took 3 years to make that happen but in 1969, Dan, Betty and their 3 children moved to Breckenridge, Colorado where they stayed for 17 years.  During that period of time, Dan was involved with the Breckenridge Ski School and the National Ski Patrol.  Betty had always been in the restaurant business, so it wasn’t long before they bought a restaurant and the whole family became involved.
                The first restaurant was small with a 6 lane bowling alley.  That was fun.
                The second restaurant was “Andrea’s Pleasure Palace”, a fine dining dinner restaurant with Dan cooking at tableside.
                The third was “The Cow Palace” across the street from the “Pleasure Palace” and operated at the same time.  The Cow Palace was the first disco in Breckenridge.
                The last restaurant in Breckenridge was “O’Brien’s” and it was family style.
                The O’Brien’s also owned “O’Brien’s Lodge” a bed and breakfast in Breckenridge.
                But, after 17 years the loooooooooong winters got to them (the first year they were there it snowed on the 4th of July!!) and they had started vacationing in the Florida Keys the last 3 years, when Dan’s parents retired to Key Largo.  So in 1986 they moved to Key West.  They soaked up the fun and sun for 10 years during which time they had three restaurants and then they “semi-retired” by working at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island during the summers and Key West in the winters.
                In 2005, they reopened a restaurant in Key West (for the 5th time!) and operated it until May 2007.  Every time they would sell this restaurant, the new owners would change the concept and lose it all.  Every time the O’Brien’s would open it, it was a booming success.   But, again the heat of the Florida Keys got them and they decided to retire again.
                So, home to Michigan!!  But not being ready to “ really retire” they bought the “Mio Songbird Motel” and found it just wasn’t enough to keep them “busy” so now they have added a dinner restaurant to the property.  It is open, Wednesday thru Saturday from 5 PM to 9 PM for dinner only.  The menu is family style and combines their years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality business. 
                So when you are in Mio, stop in, say hello, have a great dinner and spend the night in a comfy motel room.  Life is short - Give yourself a treat.