Campbell Apartment

15 Vanderbilt Avenue
New York, NY10017
Telephone: 212 953 0409

Voted one of the best bars in America in a Playboy poll, Campbell’s is the barn-sized office of businessman John W. Campbell on a ground floor in Grand Central Station. Transformed into the galleried hall of a 13th-century Florentine palace, it’s leased out for parties and music evenings. Full of Renaissance antiques, grand pianos and organs, it’s Gatsby glamour meets Capote cool; a real-life fairy tale in New York.

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Customer Reviews

Was there earlier in the day on New Year's Eve. Classy place, I must say. Old school. Loved the Prohibition Punch. I was expecting it to be a lot more expensive, but the prices weren't really all that crazy. Don't wear sneakers or ratty clothes, they do enforce the dress code. All in all, can't wait to go back next time I'm in NYC.

by: jdl, 08 January 2007

Fantastic service, quality drinks, relaxed atmosphere and one of my favourite bars in New York. Went down well when I took my parents on a rainy Sunday and expect it to go down equally well when I take my friends when they come to visit. Quite dressy so if you look right, there are no problems but even on a quiet day they have no qualms restricting entry to the 'wrong' clientele.

by: NYEnglish, 13 November 2006

I took my daughter to New York, from Scotland, for her 21st birthday. Campbell Apartment had been recommended to me for martinis, and I was not disappointed. The service was jaw dropping. It's entertainment in itself to have a tall preppy blonde followed by a white coated waiter bring the shaker to the table and elegantly pour. The barman was gorgeous and paying lots of attention to the ladies of a certain age that were ogling him at the bar, but still managed a smile for the rest of us. The decor is very "shabby chic" - the sofas remind me of furniture my granny threw out - but I loved it! Believe me, it's a real New York experience for us tourists and I've been urging all my friends visiting New York not to miss it.

by: Alice, 04 May 2006

It does have a good ridiculousness factor for anyone who has never been, since it?s a mini Scottish baronial hall tucked away in Grand Central! But I find the novelty wears off for real use. And the smoke is now unwelcome in NYC.

by: Mark B, 21 April 2006

Introducing someone to the Campbell Apartment always begins with "Let me let you in on a little NY secret...", and their response has always been one of fascination and subsequent appreciation. It makes you feel like a member of a warm and welcoming yet selective club, if only for a little bit at a time.

by: ldivision, 19 April 2006

This place is such a special secret. To people who want a dive bar: stay away. Yes, it's elegant and dressy and classy. Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it's elite and there is a dress code. Yes, it's full of (maybe?) wealthy people having fun and spending money they probably shouldn't. But it's fun and decadent era. Out-of-towners love it and so do I. Want to impress a date? This place is awesome!

by: joancquinn, 30 March 2006

My favorite bar in the City. Naysayers would not know class if it gave them a beating.

by: EricInTheCity, 24 February 2006

This place is the bar you've always dreamed of lounging in! It is like holding court in an exquisite Scottish castle, with good service and prices which are certainly not extortionate, bearing in mind the surroundings. For those who moaned about this place...I can't possibly imagine what their idea of a world class bar would be!! This is IT!

by: mollyj, 27 November 2005

What a disappointment, and what a dump! The place was filthy, the bar sticky, the A/C not working and the service lousy! One can only imagine what this place once was, and still could be.

by: Forbes Guy, 24 September 2005

Stopped in for a quick drink after work. Beautiful place-would be a great place to take out of town guests before or after dinner.

by: ri02840, 15 July 2005

I visited this bar Xmas 03 and posted review on this site Jan 04. I've just been back and am glad to report that it's still the best bar in NYC. You can't smoke here anymore though; the law finally caught up I guess.

by: Paul Gibson, 16 June 2005

Excellent drinks and copious nuts if you're starving (we were). Great room for a bar, a good chill out after a show.

by: Martini Girl, 25 May 2005

Great relaxing place with a nice atmosphere. Highly recommend it to anyone that understands class.

by: AMCIA, 28 April 2005

It was dirty and I was really disappointed with the service. Not what I was expecting.

by: Laura, 08 April 2005

Classy, elegant, beautiful drinks. Equally smashing service. A fabulous place to chill out in midtown.

by: issy, 02 March 2005

The drinks were good, but the appeal of the atmosphere was lost on me. These reviews make it seem very elegant and classy, but it is really old and shabby. It is the most depressing bar I have ever been to in New York City.

by: anonymous, 19 January 2005

We headed for the Campbell Apartment after a heavy day's shopping. Just the perfect place to have a glass or two of champagne. The decor was superb as was the service. We're looking forward to the next time we visit what we see as one of New York’s top bars.

by: Lee & Louise, 09 January 2005

We headed for the Campbell Apartment after a heavy day's shopping. Just the perfect place to relax & have a glass or two of champagne. The decor was superb as was the service. We can't wait to go back.

by: Lee & Louise, 09 January 2005

This is bar is elegant, relaxing and the perfect upscale surrounding to create magical moments with your significant other. We loved it!

by: Harry, Connecticut, 29 November 2004

This pllace is amazing! Can't say enough good things about it. However, make sure to dress smart: no trainers allowed and for men no hats, t-shirts or ripped jeans. Ps: beautiful staff!!!!

by: sasha, NYC, 06 November 2004

My boyfriend and I went here last Sat night. The decor was wonderful, it was really relaxed and the live jazz just made it all the better. Classy but cool!

by: Abbie, London, 03 November 2004

For anyone visiting NY this bar is a must, fantastic surroundings, wonderful champagne cocktails, recommend the flappers delight, excellent service,a bit expensive but worth every penny. It's like going back into the 50’s but with out the mafia or the rat pack.

by: Debbie, Oxford, 08 January 2004

My wife and I were introduced to the Cambell Apartment by a New Yorker friend during our stay in NYC Christmas 2003. We spent several hours on Christmas Eve evening enjoying the best bar either one of us had ever visited. The decor, ambience and location were magical. The Golden Era cocktails were like nothing we had ever tasted before. I want to tell everyone I know to visit this bar, yet at the same time I wonder if a huge clientel would spoil its charm? It is a wonderful place that deserves to be preserved and left unspoilt. Sitting at the bar with the sounds of Frank Sinatra in the background, we felt like we had been transported back in time to the '40's or '50's - all New York panache and Manhattan glamour. If you only ever visit one bar in New York make it this one - and I guarantee you'll want to return. Oh, and one other thing... you can smoke.

by: Paul, Oxford, UK, 08 January 2004

The surroundings are gorgeous, but the raison d'etre of Campbell's is that you can smoke cigars. It's a shame to spoil such a beautiful place that way.

by: John, New York, 07 January 2004

Read the bad reviews of this great place carefully, and you'll find out more about those reviewers than this terrific wattering hole. Of course it's pricey. But hey: it's not stupidly so. Great value, wonderful atmosphere, and tailor made for a light, casual seduction. Proceed to the Oyster Bar after your pre-prandial here and you'll have a classic NY evening. This place makes me regret I ever left my Manhattan.

by: Richard, Valrico FL, 03 January 2004

Such a refreshing change from the London crap passing as bars. Very chilled atmosphere, highly attentive staff and not one sniff of pretence. If you're from out of NYC it's the place to visit.

by: Anonymous, 10 November 2003

Cambell Apartment: This bar is a relic of old New York and I think that everyone should just appreciate it for what it is. Good place for a drink after work or to take clients. My only caveat to New Yorkers: this place is full of commuters! Drinks are pricey, but hey, you get what you pay for!

by: Kat, New York, 06 November 2003

Good company, a fat cigar, a dainty cigarette and a glass of fine red. Simply a lounge in the Campbell Apartment, that is my way to relax.

by: Elizabeth, London, 16 October 2003

A marketing concept of a bar designed around the noxious idea of elitism, for which the clientele seems to thrive. I can stand the rather awkward dressed up crowd (they seem to find it convenient for Grand Central at least) – but it’s the complete lack of sincerity this place is built on that marks it out as a rather sad place to be. Try it – listen in on some of the conversations this place inspires in its guests. The drinks aren’t even good – the bar seems strangely stocked for a place purporting to be so posh.

by: Joseph, NY, 11 September 2003

I loved this bar - very stylish and full or renaissance period decor and furnishings - quite unusual in New York. Smokers might like to know that as Grand Central is run by the state department rather than being part of New York, this bar is one of few in which you can still smoke.

by: Anonymous, 27 May 2003

Quite elegant, to be frank. I have no inkling what the bad reviews are about. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

by: Ron, ny, 12 May 2003

Quite elegant, to be frank. I have no inkling what the bad reviews are about. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

by: Ron, ny, 12 May 2003

Don't listen to the bad reviews. Campbell Apartment is an elegant yet also cool place to catch a drink or two. Yes, its pricey... Yes, there are lots of yuppies, but the awesome location of Grand Central Station since its renovation can't be beat!

by: Titania, NY, 21 February 2003

It seems most bars struggle with the duality of cool vs. booze. Cool often wins out - with an eager clientele ready to compromise on reality so that thay can feel special sipping some nasty cocktail in a super special exclusive environment. Campbell’s is ridiculous. It's an outsized indulgence to people who seem to thrive on some sort of theme parked nonsense. And you know as well as I do, that when these black frocked lovelies go home it will be via the bridges and tunnels. sorry to be snobby, but what else can you expect from a place like this?

by: Eric, New York, 16 September 2002

Very well hidden romantic spot. Small bar and 12 tables with low comfy sofas and chair are set in a church like space. Pretty waitresses serve pricey but good cocktails in a soothing atmosphere. Good second date spot or meeting place in Grand Central if you are good at giving directions.

by: Paul, New York, 22 August 2001

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