The Epicurean Hotel Lobby

The Epicurean Hotel is poised to become a true culinary destination in the Hyde Park historic district of South Tampa, Fla. Developed in conjunction with Bern’s Steak House, The Epicurean’s foodie features include a culinary classroom, an 80-seat high-end bistro, and a sophisticated rooftop bar. The Gettys Group, a Chicago-based hospitality design firm, led the interior design work for the new-construction boutique project. Beadboard paneling, polished concrete floors, and glowing wine rack front desk pods contribute to the hotel’s reclaimed loft-like feel. “We wanted to embrace the architecture of the newly constructed building, which had a feel of an old downtown-meets-warehouse district,” says Principal Meg Prendergast. “We also wanted something non-fussy, to allow the focus of the hotel to really cater to the idea of this epicurean experience.”

The design team transformed reclaimed wine box tops, which were handpicked from the collections of owners David Laxler and Joe Colliers, into a clever front desk backdrop. “The backdrop looks very new now, but we know it will age beautifully and start to add a layer of patina to the hotel’s look,” Prendergast says. “The idea that these two elements relate back to the ownership group reinforces the local familial feeling that the hotel wanted to portray.”

A living room-like nook by the front desk, accented with vintage cookbooks and a cowhide rug, gives the impression that it’s been collected and curated over many years, Prendergast says. “We didn’t want this to feel like a new hotel, so while everything is new, our intent was that it feels like it’s been in the family for quite a while.”

The wall adjacent to the front desk is composed of a modular manmade limestone, to responsibly simulate Florida coral stone, and beadboard, which is a contemporary homage to the local historic Hyde Park residential area, Prendergast says. “We like the mix of modernity but with friendly recognizable materials.”


Artwork throughout the hotel is evocative and thoughtful, with injections of Bern’s Steak House and Tampa history. A blown-up image of a fork and spoon commands attention in the lobby. “We wanted something bold on that wall,” Prendergast says. “It sure lets guests know what they are in for.”

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