Moorhead city leaders ponder what to do with new nightclub

“We want to support small businesses in Moorhead,” council member Deb White said, but also be very conscientious about the concerns of the neighbors.

Classic Night Club - 3132023.2
The Classic Touch Lounge nightclub at 1500 11th St. N. in Moorhead on Monday, March 13, 2023.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

MOORHEAD — A key decision regarding the future of a newly opened Moorhead nightclub battling early hiccups will have to wait a couple more weeks.

The Moorhead City Council on Monday, March 13, elected to table making a decision on whether or not to grant a conditional use permit to the Classic Touch Lounge nightclub, a new business that opened in mid-February.

Since its opening, the nightclub at 1500 11st St. N. in Moorhead, has faced numerous noise complaints from the neighboring residential area, which brought Monday's agenda item to the forefront.

The 4,400-square-foot nightclub is part of a building that has housed a bar or tavern since the 1930s when it was once a part of Clay County. The building was most recently home to Jerry's Bar which closed about five years ago. As Moorhead grew, the area surrounding the property became residential on the south and east sides.

Further clouding the issue, gunfire was reported near the club early Saturday, March 11 , just two days before the council met.


Moorhead Police Capt. Deric Swenson previously told The Forum that he was still in the process of gathering more information about the shooting. Police are looking for the shooter or shooters and are asking the public for any information related to the incident, Swenson said.

“The shooting activity did not occur on the premises,” said City Attorney John Shockley.

Moorhead City Council meeting on March 13, 2023.
Melissa Van Der Stad / The Forum

Co-owner Kaluah Smith said Monday that he and co-owner Gerald Bailey went to police and asked to work with them to help "keep the community safe."

A police presence at bar close was requested to eliminate any potential violence, Smith said, adding that bars in other cities do this, like Minneapolis.

Police, however, did not have the staff to guarantee an officer at bar close, Smith said.

Council member Steve Lindaas asked if the owners can beef up their security.

"It really falls on your organization.. to be able to provide adequate security," Lindaas said.

Smith said they "guarantee" security within their premises, but are concerned of security working off property on public right-of-way.


Moorhead resident Jason Ness, who lives nearby, said Monday he's concerned about the noise and the safety of the area.

“This provides nothing positive for our neighborhood that I’ve seen yet,” Ness said.

Three noise complaints arose during the nightclub's first two weekends of operations. No other complaints were filed in the weeks the followed.

Noise has since gotten under control, Smith noted.

An accident complaint, with the driver suspected of driving while intoxicated, was received.

“I’m not as concerned about noise complaints because that is something that can be remedied pretty easily,” said council member Laura Caroon. “But I have heard from neighbors around that are really concerned about the shooting happening there and violence.”

Caroon requested more information on the shooting incident and the possible DUI.

“That building is really close to those residents in that neighborhood so I think we need to take those concerns pretty seriously,” Caroon said.


Council member Deb White called the situation complicated.

“We want to support small businesses in Moorhead,” White said, but also be very conscientious about the concerns of the neighbors.

If granted, the permit would come with several conditions and would be revoked if not strictly followed.

“It has some teeth for enforcement with the City Council if you go forward with it,” Shockley said.

Permit conditions include weekend hours of no later than 1 a.m. and weekday hours not to exceed 12 a.m., as well as a maximum occupancy of 300 people.

Additionally, the club must build a 7-foot tall fence around the eastern edge of the property, near residential homes, prior to June 2023.

“In one sense I think we’re being a little bit harsh on this business, to be honest with you,” said council member Larry Seljevold. “I think they are doing everything they can.”

Seljevold questioned whether the same stipulations are being placed on other Moorhead businesses.


The council is anticipated to make a decision on this subject during their next meeting on March 27.

Forum reporter C.S. Hagen contributed to this report.

I cover the politics beat – come see me at a local government meeting sometime. I'm also the night reporter on weeknights. 👻
What To Read Next
Get Local