A new Oxford hotel has opened within the building formerly home to independent family-run department store Boswells.

The Store comprises 101 rooms with design elements including velvet headboards and art deco features, as well as ground floor coworking and dining space The Bar at The Store.

Signature restaurant Treadwell is named after Treadwell Passage – “a bustling and somewhat notorious hub of Oxford, home to a fish hawker, shoemaker, scavenger, needlewoman and more” which once stood on the ground where the restaurant is now housed.

The menu is described as ‘Untraditionally British’, with dishes including Ruby Murray chicken pie, Bangers of Mash with a Cajun gravy, and Rosemary & Thyme Brined Pork Tomahawk.

The fifth floor of the property now houses a rooftop bar and terrace with a year-round Smokehouse serving smoked meats and cheeses, while the hotel’s wellness area is located in the basement and features a sauna, steam room, private treatment rooms, holistic studio space and spa suite rooms.

Boswells department store first opened on the city’s Cornmarket Street in 1738, and closed in 2020 after 282 years of trading. In 1928 the store expanded and moved its main entrance to the adjacent Broad Street, where the entrance to the hotel now stands.

Commenting on the news Simon Drake, general manager of The Store, said:

“Boswells was one of the world’s oldest department stores, family-owned and much-loved by the local community. In the tradition of great British department stores, it was a place of discovery – a treasure trove of toys, cosmetics, fashion, household essentials, a haberdashery, well-known tearoom and café.

“Throughout the hotel we wanted to honour this and play on the same idea of intrigue, unexpected fun, and curiosity – making an occasion out of the everyday. We can’t wait to share the new space with visitors and locals.”