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.
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Recommended by 96% of couples
13 User photos
Francine · Getting married on 08/24/2019
Amazing staff and coordinator
The coordinator Carolina, has been absolutely amazing! She has helped me through every little detail. The staff have all been so polite and really want to know what they can do to better your experience! I am SO excited for my wedding in just 2 short months and even more excited to be working with just an amazing team!Sent on 06/20/2019
Charlotte · Married on 05/25/2019
Perfect venue for our perfect day
Oxford Exchange had already held some significant meaning for us both going into planning our wedding, so in hindsight we suppose it shouldn't be surprising at all that it became a near-instant proclamation of "this is the one" when selecting a venue. From the very first meeting, to the tastings, to the big day itself, the staff at OE made us feel like royalty, and threw an unforgettably kick-ass party to prove it. With us living in Seattle and getting married in Tampa, it was an absolute God-send to have staff like Carolina, Sarah, and more who remained in constant communication on details and arrangements, and took so much of the stress out of the overall planning process. On the big day itself, Christina attended to us at every turn (especially appreciated with the groom on crutches) and helped orchestrate an unforgettable evening for absolutely everyone involved. The venue itself was gorgeous, the timing impeccable, and the food... dear Lord, the food. We're not sure we've ever had so many compliments on how good everything tasted. From opening discussions to our grand exit, Oxford Exchange proved to be simply perfect. We would do it a hundred times over again the exact same way if given the choice. If you're on the fence about finding a venue for your amazing milestone, you can go ahead and hop off now. You've found it.Sent on 07/14/2019
Jenn Maranhao · Married on 03/23/2019
Amazing Venue, Coordinator and Experience
After a very long wedding venue search, my husband and I decided on the Oxford Exchange, and we couldn't have asked for anything better. The venue itself is stunning, and all of our guests loved how beautiful space is.Sent on 04/21/2019
As an out-of-state couple, we were blown away by how easy it was to communicate with them. We hired Carolina to be our day-of-coordinator, and she did such an incredible job! She made sure everything was taken care of and that the entire day ran smoothly. She recommended some of our other great vendors to us as well. We honestly don't think anything went wrong on our wedding day, and it is all thanks to her!
We were able to make it down there for our tasting, which was great! The chef took in all of our requests and changes, and the food the day of our wedding was delicious! All of our guests raved about it and many went back for seconds (we did stations).
TL;DR: Beautiful venue, amazing coordinator, and delicious food!! Highly recommend.
The location and style of this restaurant set it apart from the rest, and the food is phenomenal!