We began with a mission to create something that would cultivate community and conversation. Designed in the spirit of human engagement, Oxford Exchange is ultimately a gathering place housing a collection of ideas and experiences under a single roof. Just as the name suggests, we drew inspiration from the historic clubs, libraries and shops of London, whose charm and history seem to spark spontaneous social interaction.
If at first an idea isn’t absurd, there is no hope for it. — Albert Einstein
If community is the heart of Oxford Exchange, the history is most certainly its soul.
Seated across the street from what was once Henry B. Plant’s legendary Tampa Bay Hotel, our space, has undergone several transformations throughout its lifetime. Originally constructed in 1891, we believe it began as a humble stable. (Today, vintage horseshoes and milk bottles unearthed during renovations are displayed in our Commerce Club.)
Then, beginning in the 1920s an arcade of local shops and businesses occupied the space, a principal feature echoed in the current design. After decades of vacancy, brother and sister team, Blake Casper and Allison Adams, sought to revive the space and establish something missing in their hometown: a place to belong. With inspiration from travels abroad and the assembly of a passionate team of experts, their idea began to take shape, while the space and it’s many uses evolved together.
Following painstaking restoration, most notably of the century old brickwork, a design that seamlessly blends the old with the new breathed new life into the space. And, finally, on September 24, 2012, Oxford Exchange opened its doors to the world.
There may be nothing that brings people together as often as food and drink. A daytime affair, The Restaurant serves weekday breakfast and lunch, weekend brunch, and afternoon tea, where guests may be seated in an art filled dining room with an open kitchen or the sunlit Conservatory, complete with creeping vines and a retractable glass roof. Showcasing continued attention to detail, the menu consists of fresh, seasonal, signature dishes, complemented by an array of premium coffees, teas, and cocktails for a new translation of the classic bistro.
Since opening our doors in 2012, Oxford Exchange has hosted over 250 private events and had over 100 couples say 'I Do.' From birthdays, anniversaries, and showers, to corporate parties and fundraisers, Oxford Exchange is a one stop shop for private parties and weddings. We handle everything from catering and bar needs to gift registries in The Shop.
Echoing the historic clubs and libraries of London, The Commerce Club, is a members-only shared work space. Membership grants access to a collaborative, communal environment, complete with quiet individual stations and private meeting spaces.
Guests are fully engaged in all aspects of daily life, and Oxford Exchange recognizes their need for both social and business enterprises. The Commerce Club gives the workday a new context, allowing members to enjoy comfort and service with all the necessary amenities to focus their energies.
The Bookstore is the gateway through which most discover Oxford Exchange. Dedicated to the beauty of the physical book, it provides a rare and engaging browsing experience, with a distinctive presentation that gives each book cover the attention it deserves.
The carefully curated collection — including new releases, bestsellers, beloved classics, signed first editions, children’s favorites, and even distinguished magazines and newspapers — is intended to satisfy the casual browser as well as an avid collector.
There is no friend as loyal as a book — Ernest Hemingway
Intended to express the power and delight of curiosity, The Shop at Oxford Exchange offers the surprise of constant discovery. Curated from local and global, vintage and new, a highly eclectic range of goods is like a traveler’s ultimate wish list — a whimsical and highly personal collection, certain to contribute to a higher quality of life.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. — Marcel Proust
Laura Taylor Retail Operations Associate Director & Bookstore Director
To further community engagement, we host an array of literary and cultural events, including monthly book clubs for children and adults, an annual book fair and an annual holiday gift bazaar.
Inspired by London’s Gresham College — an institution providing free public lectures since 1597 — our mission is to foster the advancement of culture and knowledge. OE Programming events seek to entertain our sense of curiosity, inspire new areas of interest, and ultimately contribute to Tampa’s emergence as a cultural destination.
Our in house creative and design teams provide for the ongoing needs of Oxford Exchange, as well as offer their expertise for an array of clients who desire the bespoke feeling and attention to detail for which Oxford Exchange has become known.