It's Real Life


Part of living and visiting in Licking County is getting to know familiar faces. No matter where you go, you’re bound to run into one or two - or ten - people that you know.

The kinder you are, the bigger congregation you build
— Lucas

In some places, that might be daunting. You might be tempted to drive a town over to grocery shop so you can go about it in peace. Or pick up food in the drive-through to avoid the inevitable small talk. Maybe you hide behind a street bench in public, out of the sight of someone you know. Not so in Licking County. Here, it’s authentic. It’s organic. No matter where you go and who you might run into, you’re greeted with that unique Licking County warmth.


One Person who has a hand in cultivating that warmth is Lucas Atwood, owner of Snapshots Lounge in Granville. The restaurant is a reflection of him; a renovated home, welcoming and cozy. Hold on; we’ll hear more about that later.


Having spent twenty years in the restaurant industry, hospitality is important to Lucas. That’s why instead of heading out somewhere with his wife, Lindsay; friends from college, Lauren Akin and Jackie Mayor; their significant others, Travis and Andy; and Akin kids Dylan and Sadie; Lucas decided to buy food - local, of course - and cook it in his home. They headed out to the Granville Farmers Market for the fresh, local breakfast.


After breakfast on any given day, it’s not unusual for the whole family to head to their “secret creeking spot.” With Posie, 4, and Tillie, 1 and a half, there’s nothing more exciting than having a place just your own. In Licking County, where gorgeous outdoor landscapes are just beyond every horizon, the hardest part of finding your own secret spot is crossing your threshold.


Creeking time was over, so the group left the secret spot (stealthily, of course) to head over to Dankhouse Brewing Company. Those unfamiliar to the county may think a brewery is incompatible with children, but that shows they don’t know DankHouse. In fact, Licking County is rife with spots that are a blast for kids, but where the adults can enjoy themselves, too.

Lucas himself finds it easy to get away in Licking County with so many trails and beautiful natural spots. And, with more than 40 miles of multi-use paths in the county, getting into those spots can be an adventure all its own. "When I’m being selfish, I jump out my back door and within two or three miles there are seven places to hike.”


Speaking of places where mom and dad can kick their feet up and let the kids go wild, the Atwood journey couldn’t end anywhere else but Lucas’s own Snapshots Lounge. It’s only fitting for the day to start and end with Lucas’s work.

Through Lucas is trained professionally in photography, it’s no coincidence that he opened the restaurant at age 27. In fact, it’s the family profession.

It’s a passion. I’ve been in the kitchen since I was 2 years old. My dad was a chef at the firehouse in Columbus. It’s in my blood to entertain, and that’s what I do for a living now.
— Lucas

Snapshots is designed up and down with the family in mind. Pull into the driveway, walk in the front door, “it feels like a house party,” says Lucas. The whole goal of the restaurant, Lucas says, is to spread authenticity. That theme is painted on the walls through photography, little snapshots of life. The back yard is wide open but private, which lets parents watch their kids play as they eat and talk, just like they would in their own home. Snapshots is the perfect representation of Licking County as a whole: real, comfortable and inclusive.