Grand Central’s legendary bar is back in business

One of Manhattan’s most famed bars has reopened following a careful renovation.

The Campbell — a landmarked bar within Grand Central Station — has been an institution since its days as Jazz Age financier John William Campbell’s private office and reception hall. But recently it changed ownership. Gerber Group now has the lease and they tapped  design firm Ingrao Inc. to give the historic space an overhaul.

But regulars need not fear. On the surface little has changed about the bar (and thankfully little can due to its landmark status). In fact, the 13th-century Florentine-inspired architectural elements are in better shape than ever.  The only differences you are likely notice are at the bar and in the decor. The very observant will also note that the bar bites have been elevated and the dress code relaxed.

The newly renovated @campbellapartment

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“We are very proud of how beautifully the space has been revitalized, and look forward to providing our guests with the great service they have come to expect from us,” Scott Gerber, principal and CEO of Gerber, said in a press release.

Not quite a speakeasy, the bar is “hidden in plain sight” at the southwest corner of Grand Central Terminal. It began its life as the daytime office of John William Campbell’s during his days as a financier and member of the New York Central Railroad’s Board of Directors. He used the rest of the space as a reception hall for his colleagues and friends in the evenings.

Since then, the space has served as one of the city’s best cocktail bars, attracting a society crowd.

“As soon as you enter The Campbell, the sense of history is palpable,” said Randy Kemper of Ingrao. “We focused on restoring the space’s original features, while utilizing traditional materials and design features whenever possible. The end result is a breathtaking revitalization that brings the historic venue seamlessly into the 21st century while paying homage to its storied past.”