Roeser looks to buy East Dundee supper club
By Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media October 25, 2013 2:22PM
The financially troubled Anvil Club super club in East Dundee. | Sun-Times Media file
Updated: November 28, 2013 6:42AM
EAST DUNDEE — Local businessman and downtown booster Tom Roeser may be buying the iconic but financially troubled Anvil Club supper club.
“We have not closed on the transaction but I believe we will come to an agreement,” Roeser said Friday.
He said taking on the endeavor will be good for East Dundee and the plans in place for the village.
“The Anvil Club ownership was either unable or unwilling to invest in that club and its future was uncertain so knowing how important that is to the rebirth of East Dundee, and where the city fathers and Vandewalle (and Associates) have a terrific plan, I stepped in to assure their plan will not falter,” Roeser said. “My goal is to get that restaurant back to its earlier financial standing.”
As for his long-term plans for the club, Roeser, who is president of OTTO Engineering in Carpentersville, said he is undecided.
“Who knows? Maybe I’ll sell it to the employees,” he said.
Those going by the Anvil Club the past few days could see the facade improvements that currently are being made downtown.
If the deal goes through, Roeser plans to take advantage of the village’s facade program, which offers buildings with more than 150 linear feet of street frontage a grant not to exceed $75,000. Roeser said he likely will spend more than $150,000 and expects to get a matching grant.
As far as interior work, he does not yet have a dollar amount for the nearly 60-year-old business, which draws diners from throughout northeastern Illinois.
“All of the air conditioning is obsolete. The electrics are in need of repair. The bathrooms are not adequate,” he said. “It’s a cute place. I think it just got a little tired. I can fix that up. And by having the financial staying power to endure any losses while we weather through the storm, we can retain the employees while we enhance it.”
Roeser also plans on seeking out tax increment finance funds for the renovations. He said the uproar it has caused is “way over the top.”
The Fox Valley Libertarian Party has been staging protests on Saturdays in East Dundee throughout the month of October. Members are urging residents who disagree with allowing TIF funding for the renovations to call their trustees and let them know.
“Although I am not a proponent of setting up TIFs in the way many towns have done it, there are areas where a TIF is to go into blighted areas where the city has strategic need to do something that would not happen without the financial dynamics,” Roeser said.
He said the success of the downtown very much depends on keeping the private supper club in the village.
“I’m buying the business so that it will flourish,” he said.
He also plans to seek out Anvil Club member feedback in regard to renovations.
“I need input from them,” he said. “What do they want to see changed? Maybe nothing.”
When it comes to East Dundee’s downtown, Roeser calls himself a catalyst. “I am a guy that’s coming into East Dundee and making things happen that would not happen without me,” he said.