The Alabama Club was founded as the Shakespeare Club on April 4, 1884 by then-New Orleans Mayor Joseph Shakespeare, along with John T. Hardie of New Orleans, J. M. Lewis of Talladega, Joseph Johnston, James Spence, Edmund Rucker, Bernard Peyton and T. B. Lyons. Lyons was elected president of the club.
The club changed its name to the Alabama Club in July 1886. In 1887 they commissioned a new 5-story building on the 200 block of 21st Street North, designed by W. S. Smith & Co.. Beginning on November 1, the club operated a fine dining restaurant there, with a kitchen staff headed by French chef Jean Galatoire.
- Dubose, John Witherspoon (1887) Jefferson County and Birmingham, Alabama: Historical and Biographical Birmingham: Teeple & Smith, Publishers; Caldwell Printing Works., p. 307-8
- North Alabama (Illustrated) (1888) Birmingham: Southern Commercial Publishing Co., p. 145