A well kept semi-secret. The Campbell Apartment is a beautiful old school bar tucked away in Grand Central. It literally is the restored private office of early twentieth-century tycoon and railroad executive John W. Campbell. In 1923, Campbell commissioned Augustus N. Allen, an architect known for designing estates on Long Island, to build an office in the leased space in Grand Central. He transformed the space into a 13th-century Florentine palace with a hand-painted timbered ceiling and leaded windows. One of the most striking features was a Persian carpet that took up the entire floor and was said to have cost $300,000 at the time, or roughly $3.5 million today. Campbell added a piano and pipe organ, and at night turned his office into a reception hail, entertaining 50 or 60 friends who came to hear famous musicians play private recitals. After Campbell’s death in 1957, the rug and other furnishings disappeared from his office and the space eventually became a signalman’s office and later a closet at Grand Central, where the transit police stored guns and other equipment. It also became a small jail. Now it’s a bar filled with commuters grabbing a drink before catching their trains to Connecticut and upstate New York. (So East Coast). be warned that they do not look kindly to tennis shoes or torn jeans, but other than that it’s a pretty subdued vibe. Campbell’s is located… oh hell, finding it is half the fun.
Hours: Mon-Thu, 2:30pm-1am; Fri-Sat, 2:30pm- 2am; Sun, 3pm-11am
Grand Central Terminal 15 Vanderbilt Ave., nr. 43rd St., 10017 212-953-0409