The one-time office of a millionaire railroad executive has been reborn as one of New York’s hottest bars

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Sarah Jacobs

Tucked inside New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, away from the gazing tourists and hurried passengers, is a commuter’s refuge called The Campbell. The newly opened bar and restaurant, run by The Gerber Group, serves classic cocktails in an old-timey space. The decor is an ode to the bar’s storied past as a private office to millionaire and railroad executive John Williams Campbell in the 1920s.

Before it became The Campbell, the space was run by Mark Grossich under the name The Campbell Apartment. It was more exclusive, with a dress code and less signage, and the bar was more difficult to find within the massive train station. Under that name, the bar hosted famous guests like President Bill Clinton, George Clooney, and Liam Neeson.

When The Campbell Apartment’s owners lost their lease in 2016, having been outbid by The Gerber Group, Grossich unsuccessfully tried to sue the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the terminal.

Of the reopening, which now includes three separate, easy-to-find bars within Grand Central, Scott Gerber told the New York Times: “We want people to know about it.” Ahead, take a look at the gorgeous bar during one of its busiest times: commuter rush hour.


The interior of the main area, called The Campbell Bar, is a New York City landmark, so legally, the Gerber Group couldn’t change much. Its massive windows — there since the 1920s — along with its overall thirteenth-century, Florentine-inspired design, have remained.

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Sarah Jacobs

The hand-painted ceiling has also remained intact, thanks to $2 million renovations done back in 1999.

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Sarah Jacobs

Source: The New York Post


As a sitting member of the New York Central Railroad Board of Directors, John Campbell used to host parties in the space. His safe is still there, tucked under the fireplace mantle.

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Sarah Jacobs

The Campbell Bar also kept the actual stone bar in its place.

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Sarah Jacobs

The cocktail menu is an ode to the past. Among the options you’ll find an early- twentieth-century classic in the gin-based Aviation, and the Stackhouse’s Punch, which is named after John Campbell’s butler.

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Aviation and Stackhouse’s Punch
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Sarah Jacobs

An upstairs seating area provides a quiet place above, with a view of the entire bar.

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Sarah Jacobs

The bar and restaurant open at noon and close at 2 a.m.

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Sarah Jacobs

Outside the entrance to the main bar is The Campbell Palm Court.

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Sarah Jacobs

Those in a hurry can grab a quick drink here.

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Sarah Jacobs

And, outside on Vanderbilt Avenue is The Campbell Terrace, ready for those who want some fresh air.

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Sarah Jacobs