Table For One: The Campbell at Grand Central (NYC)

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Tucked away in New York City’s Grand Central Station is The Campbell — a beautifully ornate bar, formerly known as The Campbell Apartment, that was once the massive private office of railroad tycoon and American financier John Williams Campbell. Business by day and luxurious parties by night; Campbell was known for entertaining wealthy clients with lavish parties in his expansive office space. Needless to say, I’d been wanting to visit this place ever since hearing about it in 2012. I was told of its history and its origins, but the most exciting aspect was that it was a bit of a speakeasy — one of New York’s best kept secrets where one could escape the bustling crowds of Grand Central whilst sitting in thirteenth century Florentine opulence. Of course, nowadays with Yelp and Instagram, it’s not much of a secret, but that hardly dulled the experience for me.

In fact, I actually had a wonderful time. Seating at the bar, with the infamous hand-leaded glass window, was fully occupied, but I was offered a table near the fireplace immediately. I was given a couple minutes to look over the menu before the server returned to take my order. I opted for the Lavender Collins (I’m a sucker for floral and herbaceous flavors), and for a little bit more I ordered the Meatball Parmesan Sliders and the Crispy Tuna Tartare Tacos.

I thought everything was amazing — each item deserves a definite 5 out of 5 on the starry eyed emoji rating scale. 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

This is how Grand Central looked before I went into The Campbell — not too crowded, but still plenty of tourists and commuters.

This is how Grand Central looked before I went into The Campbell — not too crowded, but still plenty of tourists and commuters.

The entrance. 

The entrance. 

The view from my table. One day I’d like to dine on the balcony level. 

The view from my table. One day I’d like to dine on the balcony level. 

Cocktails  

Cocktails  

Small bites menu...I’m always looking for food. 😆  

Small bites menu...I’m always looking for food. 😆  

Lavender Collins, Meatball Parmesan Sliders, and Crispy Tuna Tartare Tacos

Lavender Collins, Meatball Parmesan Sliders, and Crispy Tuna Tartare Tacos

This is how the station looked when I left the bar — calm and empty and super surreal.

This is how the station looked when I left the bar — calm and empty and super surreal.

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The entire terminal was so eerily quiet that I’d wished I had someone with me — not out of fear, but because I wanted someone to whisper secrets to across Grand Central’s Whispering Walls. The design of the arched ceilings above the Whispering Walls allows even the quietest words to travel up and across the ceiling then down to the opposite wall. When two people to stand in opposite corners they can whisper back and forth, but of course it works best when the terminal is quiet like it was at that late night hour of 1AM. Honestly that entire night was magical and I seriously can’t wait to go back (this time with my husband for a nice romantic date). Until then I’ll just be planning my return and doing my best to recreate that Lavender Collins cocktail. 

The Campbell is in the southwestern corner of Grand Central Terminal located at 15 Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017. There is no dress code.

Up next: Dinner for one from a highly rated Brooklyn eatery, a New York Pizza showdown, and art on The Highline. Stay tuned and stay updated by subscribing for email notifications or by following @starry.eyed.wanderer on Instagram!