The Tampa Club held its grand opening on April 12, 1982. At the time of its opening, the Tampa Club occupied the 22nd floor penthouse of the NCNB Tower, known today as the Franklin Exchange Building.
The Tampa Club quickly became popular with downtown’s community of business professionals. In a few short years, membership had moved beyond its opening number of 350 and the club was outgrowing its home in the NCNB Tower. The Board of Directors looked to Tampa’s newest skyscraper, scheduled for completion in 1986, as the address of its future home. Known then as Barnett Plaza, the construction plans for the Class A tower included 577 vertical feet of white Spanish marble spanning two city blocks, an expansive granite plaza with two water features, a magnificent outdoor sculpture by internationally recognized artist Charles Perry, and rich African mahogany lobby walls with brushed brass enhancements. Now known as the Bank of America Plaza, there is still no other building in Tampa as high or providing a more impressive business address.
Atlanta-based firm Ferry-Hayes was contracted to provide the original design for the new club’s 22,104 square feet of interiors, centered on the 18th century England theme. The total cost of the new club was $3.5 million and construction took a year. The Tampa Club took up residence in its new home in 1987 and members were captivated by the luxurious setting featuring views of the city, old Tampa Bay, Hillsborough River and historic University of Tampa, available only from Tampa’s then-tallest building. Meeting and dining rooms included the Main Dining Room, Grille, Rotunda, Grand Ballroom, Library, Directors’ Room, Crystal Room, MacInnes Room and Hollingsworth Room.
In 2006, the club’s executive offices were moved out of the club and across the hall. The Germany Boardroom was constructed in the space where the executive offices had been, and the Directors’ Room was turned into a business center.
In 2014, the Library was deconstructed in favor of an open, airy lobby lounge. Now, members and guests entering the Tampa Club are treated to a breathtaking panoramic eastern view from the new Skyline Lounge. During the same renovation, the Directors’ Room was eliminated and a temperature-controlled Wine Room was constructed in its place.
BNG Hospitality acquired The Tampa Club in October 2019. Their focus will be on reconcepting/repositioning the club to become more relevant to a modern day demographic. Plans for revitalization of the club will begin in 2020. The Tampa Club has joined the BNG collection to include four other business clubs located in Charleston, Memphis, Knoxville and San Antonio.