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Members' friends could only be entertained in the first room facing the street on the ground floor, where they could have 'tea, coffee or chocolate, but no Meat or Wine nor can there be any Gaming or Cards in that Room'.
So far as Almack himself was concerned, the change was clearly an important one, for in the autumn of 1764 he did not renew his tavern licence, and in August The Gentleman's Magazine reported that 'Almack's is no longer to be used as a public tavern but is to be set apart for the reception of a set of gentlemen, who are to meet after the manner of the minority at Wildman's. During the whole of this period Almack was the proprietor, the subscriptions were paid to him and the club was known as Almack's.
The site of the club, Almack's Assembly Rooms or (from 1781) Willis's Rooms, has become retrospectively interchangeable with the club, though for much of the club’s lifetime the rooms offered a variety of other entertainments with no connection to the club.
The history of Almack’s begins with its founder William Almack (the elder).
One popular theory, circulated since 1811, supposes him to have been Scottish, his real name 'M'Caul', and that he had changed it because he found that in England a Scots name prejudiced his business.
In fact, Almack appears to have been of Yorkshire origin, and the theory that this was an assumed name is undoubtedly false.