There’s A Swanky Secret Bar In New York’s Grand Central Station
Here's the back story on this historic hidden cocktail lounge.
Climb the stairs to the upper level of the Metro-North train hub at New York City’s Grand Central Station, and you’ll find one of the city’s truly hidden gems: The Campbell Apartment, a historic cocktail bar with serious style.
The Campbell Apartment gets its name from its unique origins. The 3,500 square-foot space has been used as a studio for CBS, a railroad jail and, most famously, the office of millionaire financier John Campbell, who used to host parties there after hours. After Campbell’s death, the space was restored and and turned into a gorgeous, ornately decorated cocktail bar.
After closing last summer for renovations and an expansion, the bar reopened earlier this year in its most glorious incarnation yet. Guests can now sip a classic cocktail in two other spaces in addition to the original apartment: Campbell Palm Court, a small bar outside the apartment, or the Campbell Terrace, an outdoor bar built in an area that used to be a taxi stand.
The updated Campbell forgoes a dress code and the owners have added some extra signage to make it easier to find and slightly less secret than before. Not to worry, though: It still feels exclusive.
The bar’s new owners were mindful about maintaining the unique history of The Campbell Apartment, from the wood bar to the beloved bartender, Paris DuRante, who has worked there for the past 16 years. DuRante told the New York Times he was thrilled to be mixing classic cocktails at the Campbell.
“It’s such a beautiful room,” he told the Times. “You don’t expect to see what you see. It’s like a church. I think of New York as the center of the universe, and this bar is at the center of that universe.”
Next time you find yourself near Grand Central Station, why not take a detour up those glamorous stairs and sip a Negroni in a gorgeous bar that doubles as a time machine? Cheers!