Full Circle


For Karen and Dick Birtcher, it was the changes across Licking County that inspired them to move from their farm house to an apartment in Newark.

“We attend church downtown, we became involved with the Downtown Newark Association. We started becoming involved in activities downtown and, actually, it was Dick’s idea – the man who would absolutely never live in the city,”
— Karen

At first, Karen admits, she wasn’t keen on the idea of leaving the large space that came with their country home. However, when she really thought about the move, she was sold. The pair enjoys downtown Newark restaurants and boutiques and seeing shows at The Midland Theatre.

And, just like that, a new journey begins.

The Keiter/Birtcher journey started over breakfast at the Cottage Restaurant, the perfect midway point between downtown Newark and the Birtchers’ former home, serving American classics.

“We’re closer to everything, so we have a lot more freedom to come and go”
— Karen

From there, the group headed straight for downtown Newark. Though the Keiters have visited Licking County countless times before, this was the perfect opportunity for the Birtchers to show off their new home in a different light.


Cornell Clothing Company was their next stop. For the Birtchers, buying local isn’t a fun new trend; it’s a way of life. And for Dick, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to purchase a new pair of suspenders. In Licking County, the 1910-founded Cornell’s is the perfect spot for men and women searching for vintage clothes from an established community spot.


By the time night fell, the Keiters and Birtchers retired to Elements to enjoy the newly renovated patio complete with fire pit. After a long but fun day of relaxing and exploring Newark through a fresh set of eyes – as residents, not visitors – it was the perfect time to reflect.


Everything comes full circle. The couple who never thought they would live in a city is now here with the knowledge that smaller square footage in a house is a small price to pay to finally come home. And, for Karen, a retired teacher of 30 years, there’s an even greater feeling of coming home: the building they’ve moved into downtown Newark is a renovated schoolhouse.