Found on the Internet, an abstract of the following article:
The Clubs of St. James's: places of public patriarchy - exclusivity, domesticity and secrecy, Jane Rendell
"The male clubs of St. James's, specifically the four at the top of St. James's Street; Boodle's, Brooks's, Crockford's and White's, were frequented by men of the same class who used their control of space to assert social and political allegiances and rivalries between men. The exclusivity of the first floor gambling room, a place of secrecy and privacy, is contrasted with the ground floor bow window, a site of public display and exclusivity. Male leisure pastimes, such as drinking, sporting, gambling, are explored as social and spatial practices which, by establishing shared codes of consumption, display and exchange, represent public masculinities."
During the period of his greatest popularity and influence, Beau Brummell (depicted above) held court in the Bow Window at White's in full view of the public. White's was founded in 1693 as a Chocolate House. By the end of the 18th Century, the popularity of chocolate houses declined, and many of the exclusive chocolate houses became Gentleman's Clubs.
Find more information about Gentlemens Clubs in the following: