Tequila Val’s is a new chapter for historic dinner club building in East Dundee

East Dundee’s newest restaurant, Tequila Val’s, is bringing new life to what was once a storied dinner club.

Housed in the former Anvil Club, East Dundee’s newest restaurant, Tequila Val’s, brings Mexican cuisine to the downtown district. The restaurant, which opened on May 2, offers a menu featuring lamb shank birria, quesabirrias, tacos, burritos and other dishes. The bar offers fresh margaritas, craft cocktails and other spirits.

“We worked hard on the menu and spent a lot of hours tasting and creating the menu,” restaurant owner Colin Hegarty said.

Hegarty purchased the Anvil Club after its closing in July.

The iconic dinner club first opened in 1956 when a group of prominent businessmen decided they wanted a place for fine dining closer to home. It remained a private club until December 2020, when it opened to the public for the first time. In its prime, the Anvil Club, which required referrals from two members to get in and annual dues, had about 8,000 members.

The restaurant had a rich history in East Dundee and many longtime members who celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and other special events at the club.

  Tequila Val’s in downtown East Dundee features a large patio. Rick West/

Since its closing, the building has undergone a transformation that includes a new look to the facade and expanding the bar from 10 to 32 seats. The Anvil Club’s private patio has been opened up and expanded for Tequila Val’s.

“We opened up the outdoor patio, which I think is a beautiful space,” Hegarty said, adding that opening it up makes it more accessible to people using the nearby bike trail or visiting the downtown district to shop or one of the special events held in the summer.

Although there have been extensive renovations, not everything has changed. The saddle room remains the same as it was when the Anvil Club was open. Hegarty kept that space intact as a type of “homage” to the special memories the former super club had for customers.

Plans for a basement space once used as a speakeasy are evolving, Hegarty said. Possible uses could include private vents, live music or a romantic dinner spot for date nights.

“I’m just trying to see the customer flow and what the community needs,” he said.

And though the building and menu are different, Hegarty said he hopes to continue the tradition, starting with the Anvil Club, of being the place to go for special events and celebrations.

“The game plan is to continue the legacy of this space,” he said.

Tequila Val’s

Location: 309 Meier St., East Dundee

Info: (847) 865-8257 or

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Reservations and walk-ins are welcome.

  Tequila Val’s offers a variety of Mexican dishes, margaritas and craft cocktails. Rick West/
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