The magic of New York City lies within it's history. Every corner you turn, a library, a bar, a train station and street corner is rich in history and tells a story. A couple of years ago before I became an official resident, I had the opportunity to visit the Campbell Apartment, an iconic New York bar hidden upstairs historic Grand Central Station. I was saddened when it closed and wondered why such a historic landmark, would just close down.
I was ecstatic when I found out it would re-open, better than ever! Last night, I got to attend the pre-opening party celebrating the re-launch of this historic bar and it was a complete journey back in time!
The history behind the name started in 1923 when it was first leaded by John Campbell from William Kissam Vanderbilt II, whose family built the Terminal. The bar was once the office of American financier John W. Campbell, a member of the New York Central Railroad's board of directors. After his death in 1957, the space was used for multiple purposes including office space for CBS Radio, storage for police equipment and even a jail for the Metro North Railroad.
Today Gerber Group officially re-opened The Campbell, located at 15 Vanderbilt Avenue, after a long anticipated revival of the former Campbell Apartment, located in Grand Central Terminal. A New York City institution since its days as Jazz Age, the space has been thoughtfully and meticulously restored in partnership with internationally renowned design firm Ingrao Inc.
Maintaining the integrity of the property’s historic architecture while introducing contemporary design elements, Gerber Group did an incredible job at maintaining the refined look, while transforming it into an approachable atmosphere with eclectic cocktails and revamped bar menu.
The Campbell features Gerber Group’s selection of classic and modern cocktails highlighting only the freshest ingredients, in addition to interesting wines and locally brewed craft beers. Signature drinks span from classic and era-driven — like the Aviation (Nolet’s Gin, crème de violette, Maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon), John Campbell’s Martini (Stoli Elit, Carpano dry vermouth, olives), Stackhouse’s Punch (Brugal Rum, Veuve Clicquot, fresh lemon), and the GG Manhattan (Woodford Reserve, Carpano Antica, Angostura bitters), as well a more modern cocktails like the Grand Central Spritz (Grey Goose, St. Germain, mint, Prosecco).
I am a tequila girl at heart, so my favorite was the Summertime Spice. Pictured below, it was a perfect blend of Casamigos Blanco, Ancho Reyes liqueur, fresh lemon, agave. Delicioso!
A selection of elevated bar fare includes the Butcher’s Block, with charcuterie and country pâté, Crispy Tuna Tartare Tacos (with smoked chipotle mayonnaise), and Meatball Sliders (with pecorino and basil). The Campbell’s lunch specialties include the Kale and Endive Salad (toasted pistachio, pecorino and mint), French Dip (with caramelized onions and red wine au jus), Grilled Cheese (with aged gruyere and smoked mozzarella on sourdough), and Herb Roasted Chicken Sandwich (with provolone, roasted peppers and caramelized onions on rosemary ciabatta).
Paying homage to the history of the space as a salon for entertaining in the truest form, Gerber Group has divided the venue into three principal areas that provide distinctive guest experiences: The Campbell Bar, the timeless office featuring a stunning bar topped with green quartzite, custom brass sconces that illuminate the magnificent hand-painted ceiling, custom mohair and leather furnishings, and a mezzanine offering a look over the action below; The Campbell Palm Court, an indoor lounge with Rattan bar stools and high top café tables surrounded by towering palm trees with a view into the main terminal; and The Campbell Terrace, a sweeping outdoor covered veranda complete with a full bar, where guests can enjoy the weather as well as the bustle of Midtown.
Next time you're in town, make sure to stop in for cocktail with history at The Campbell!
For more information, call 212-297-1781 or visit www.TheCampbellNYC.com. Follow The Campbell on Instagram at @thecampbellnyc.