A Sense of Place
Originally built in 1891 as a stable for the Plant Hotel, 420 West Kennedy Boulevard has gone through several transformations in its 122-year history. In the 1920s an arcade of shops ran through the center of the building from Kennedy to Grand Central, a feature that is echoed in the current design. More recently, housed within the brick walls was an insurance company, photo studio, and dentist’s office. If you have lived in Tampa long enough you may have visited Oxford Exchange in a few of its previous forms.
Oxford Exchange is really two buildings: the original four walls of Number 420, and a new structure that took the place of an older building next door. Painstaking restoration of the older elements, most notably the brickwork, was done alongside the creation of new features, such as the many skylights and the glass-roofed conservatory. It is hard to tell the new from the old, which underscores Oxford Exchange’s mission to showcase the best of the contemporary and the classic.
While on a visit to London, Tampa businessman Blake Casper found himself drawn to the architecture, feel, and use of English shops and clubs. Sensing the potential for these kinds of multi-use spaces in his hometown, Casper began to conceive a place where people could meet, mingle, work in solitude, or simply pass a few moments outside of their hectic lives.
For the adventure of launching this novel concept, Casper assembled a team of architects, engineers, designers, and craftsmen to transform the old building into a state-of-the-art complex: Smith-Dalia Architects in Atlanta; EWI Construction in Tampa; Project Manager James Brearley; and Interior Designer Mary Beth Courier. Then came the team that would bring the building to life: Dave and Susan Ward of Buddy Brew Coffee, and Abigail St. Clair of TeBella Tea Company came on board; Sarah Fairbairn of One Fine Day Inc. took lead as Special Events Director; Executive Chef Erin Guggino began to develop the menu for the Restaurant; Allison Casper Adams created the Shop, Alison Powell devised the Bookstore, and both started filling a warehouse with finds.
And so, in 2011 Oxford Exchange began to take shape, writing a story that begins at the front door and continues throughout the building every day. Depending on how you look at it, Oxford Exchange is either a large house, or a small town. Each area offers its own feel and personality, and yet each contributes to the whole, which is designed to fulfil a diverse range of needs, from coffee to conversation. Oxford Exchange was hand-built, using materials from over a dozen countries. Italian marble, reclaimed white oak, leather panels on walls and ceilings, and brass fittings, are just a few of the details that enrich the experience.
Oxford Exchange opened its doors at 6:30AM on September 24, 2012. In addition to the careful planning of the physical structure of Oxford Exchange, a great deal of thought went into the activities and products offered here—the spirit of the place. Curation is a key concept behind the food, goods, and programmed events at the OE. With choices overwhelming us all these days, there is a great relief in having the field narrowed by those with the passion and expertise to help us find our way to wonderful new discoveries.
Other couples have also viewed:
41 Reviews for Oxford Exchange
Recommended by 94% of couples
26 User photos
Nadine Helal · Married on 08/07/2020
Beyond perfect wedding venue for so many reasons!
Can’t begin to capture all the reasons why Oxford Exchange was a perfect venue for our wedding day. First, it is an absolutely breathtaking space. The required and recommend vendors while at first seems limiting, is for good reason as they are all so so talented, easy to work with, and go well above and beyond to make your day perfect. Second, we had the extreme pleasure of working with Kathi who
not only made sure every detail was perfect from our tasting before the wedding all the way through our exit, but she was just a joy to work with and did so much to make everything so special. Kathi went out of her way to make recommendations for every little thing we asked about including hair, a classic car driver, balloon company, and even someone that could take care of our pup! The fact that everything was so turnkey was an immense help especially with our schedules and the changes we had to make due to the pandemic. I would not hesitate to pick this venue and and am looking for reasons to host more events here!Sent on 08/31/2020
Rishi Barran · Married on 07/03/2020
Dream Venue For A Wedding!
Words can't fully express how amazing our experience was having our wedding at Oxford Exchange- but I'll try! We had high expectations going into booking Oxford Exchange, and somehow it managed to exceed all of those expectations. The setting itself is magical, and I couldn't think of a better place to be for the biggest night of your life. From the greenery and candlelight in the conservatory dining room, to the spectacular checkerboard atrium area for dancing and our ceremony, Oxford Exchange provides pure class and a breathtaking setting. The staff is second to none, and it's amazing how many different looks each area can have in one night. Our ceremony, cocktail hour, and dance floor were all located in the same area, and it was amazing how quickly the staff was able to convert the setting for each different part of the night within minutes. Maybe even more impressive, however, is the professionalism and high-quality service we received through every part of the process. Private events manager Kathi Caccamo was incredibly sharp and dependable. She answered all of our questions quickly and made every adjustment we asked for. Her skills and professionalism led to an evening that was smooth and enjoyable. We were able to be ourselves and not have to worry about any minor details or issues. Kathi was on site during the event, and she made sure everything remained on schedule while also maintaining the flexibility to make any last-minute adjustments. The food was spectacular, as were the hors d'oeuvres. The bartenders and servers were friendly and professional. The attention to detail Kathi and her team put into everything made a huge difference. They even allowed us to pick two "signature drinks" to feature that everyone raved about. A number of our guests told us that this was the best wedding they had ever been to, and they noted that the Oxford Exchange experience was a big reason why. Thank you to Kathi and the Oxford Exchange for a wedding night for the ages!Sent on 04/09/2020
Kaitlin Brandt · Married on 05/12/2020
I cannot begin to express how incredible Oxford Exchange and their event planning team is. Special shout out to Elizabeth - she is the absolute best!!! First of all, the venue itself is beautiful. That is enhanced tenfold for weddings. It is truly magical at night.
From the beginning of the day: we rented the smith room early so all hair/makeup etc. could be done in one location. OE had it set up with a hanging rack, full length mirror, charcuterie board, champagne, water and soda for the ladies. They even had a wedding gift laid out. It was amazing. The guys were greeted with a bucket of ice cold beer; as you can imagine, that was well received.
The food - don't even get me started on the food. Our hors d'oeuvres were so delicious; the guests loved them. The entrees were cooked to perfection, tasted amazing & were complimented so many times. Nobody had to wait more than a few minutes to be served. The open bar was run very smoothly. The overall level of professionalism of the staff working the event was unmatched. My husband and I took a moment to ourselves during cocktail hour, and during that time an OE staff member brought us two of each appetizer to ensure we were able to try them. We didn't even ask for that. It was so appreciated.
The attention to detail and overall professionalism that was displayed was remarkable. The event flowed seamlessly and I could not be happier. Would 10/10 recommend OE as a wedding venue. We wish we could to it over again. Thank you!Sent on 12/10/2020
The location and style of this restaurant set it apart from the rest, and the food is phenomenal!