Who could guess how many people pass through NYC’s Grand Central terminal every day? Between out of state commuters, tourists going shopping, and residents getting where they need to go, we venture to guess… well, quite a few. But this iconic train station has a hidden gem that goes unnoticed by most, unless you’ve been tipped off.

Hidden inside the hustle and bustle is a speakeasy, 20’s style cocktail bar called The Campbell Apartment, and this year it will be open on Christmas Day.

Legend has it that this little hideaway was once the apartment of a financier and railroad tycoon named John W. Campbell… but he never actually lived there. He used the space as his office, and for entertaining guests on the pipe organ and piano he kept there. After his death in 1957, the place deteriorated and went through a variety of short-lived incarnations…. a jail, for example. However, the space has since been restored and renovated into an elegant, glamorous bar.


2campbellmcny15Photo Credit: Gothamist, via the Museum of the City of New York


According to its website, patrons will experience “cocktails from another era” once they ascend the carpeted stairs into the bar. Proper attire is required, no sneakers or baseball hats. Plus, once you see what the other patrons are wearing, you’ll be happy you dressed for the occasion.

Feel as though you’re back in the roaring 20s as you as relax on the plush seats and swirl your single-malt scotch, pretending that you are in a Hemingway novel. Mahogany and dim lighting create an atmosphere of elegant style.


campbell-apartment_650_20130605Photo Credit: The Campbell Apartment via New York


Keeping in theme with a classy Christmas, if you need additional means escape your family, you can go down to Bemelmans Bar, the sophisticated art-deco bar inside the Carlyle Hotel. Just to give you an idea of of this place…it has 24 carat gold ceilings. This bar is a historic NYC staple. Enjoy the live piano music with your martini.


bbmmlPhoto Credit: Bemelmans Bar, Edible Manhattan


Or, if you’re feeling swanky, you can head over to Lexington Bar and Books on the Upper East Side. It’s a cigar bar decorated to look like a library. Enjoy a glass of wine while you chat up the men in suits and admire the dark wood paneling. The air is smokey and the people are friendly. You will feel transported back in time.

This Christmas, have it both ways: Enjoy some time with your family, then enjoy some time to yourself. It’s the holidays… you’ve earned some time to relax, don’t you think?

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