One of this year’s most anticipated bar openings is the reopening of the Campbell Apartment, Grand Central Terminal‘s “hidden” cocktail spot. With a new name to boot, The Campbell Bar, now run by the Gerber Group continues to evoke that Gilded Age grandeur in what was once the private office and entertainment space of business tycoon John W. Campbell, a friend of “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt who built Grand Central. Campbell also sat on the Board of Directors for Vanderbilt’s railroad, the New York Central. The upgrades in The Campbell Bar from its predecessor are subtle but noteworthy, carefully maintaining many of the beloved details like the large stone fireplace, Campbell’s safe, the hand painted ceilings, and the large leaded glass window behind the bar that is the centerpiece of the space.
But the bar surface is new – of a green quarzite and there’s all new furniture, with many new high top tables which has helped update the space from the more staid, sit-down lounge it was before to a livelier atmosphere. The old carpet has been removed to reveal a wooden parquet floor and there are new custom light fixtures. Gone are the oriental vases, but in are new velvet banquettes and upholstered leather chairs, with brass handles to move them.
John W. Campbell’s safe, still within the mantel
The wooden cabinets are original to Campbell’s office and now store beers. The vases that were once sitting atop have been replaced by plants.
Possibly, most notably, the service is a notch up and the drink menu is more condensed and focused. Each category of drink (classic cocktails, house cocktails, white wine, red wine) have six options, with an additional rosé option, five options of sparkling, twelve beers, and cold press juices by Liquiteria. Cocktails start at $18 and wine $16. The food menu includes deviled eggs, crispy tuna tartare tacos, mini lobster rolls, cheese board, charcuterie block, and meatball parmesan sliders.
A moscow mule in a copper mug
The Strawberry Basil Lemonade house cocktail (Belvedere vodka, fresh squeezed lemonade, strawberry and basil) and the Thyme Collins (Hendricks gin, lillet blanc, fresh lemon juice, thyme syrup and bitters)
Mini lobster sliders
Martini and the crispy tuna tartare tacos
The mezzanine level is still open for seating, with a great view of the main level of the bar:
And the Campbell Palm Court, just below the entrance staircase to the bar and the Campbell Terrace, at the Vanderbilt Avenue entrance are also open for business, like in the previous iteration .
Next, join us for our upcoming tours of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal: