Noise complaints from new Moorhead nightclub prompt city response

The Moorhead Planning Commission recommended the city grant a conditional use permit for the nightclub, but some commissioners are not sure that will be enough.

Nicole Mattson, Brent Behm, Amber Gustafson and Jana Kasper discuss a request for a conditional use permit by Classic Touch Lounge nightclub during a public hearing on Monday, March 6, 2023, at the Hjemkomst Center Auditorium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

MOORHEAD — A new nightclub recently opened in Moorhead received multiple noise complaints its first weekend of operation, prompting city officials to address the business and its relationship with the neighboring residential area.

The Classic Touch Lounge nightclub opened in mid-February in the southern portion of the building at 1500 11th St. N., Moorhead. Brothers Tavern, a food business occupies the other side of the business.

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.

During opening weekend the city received three noise complaints, as well as a complaint about nightclub patrons parking at the nearby convenience store. An addition accident complaint, a suspected driving while intoxicated case, was also received.

As a result, the Moorhead Planning Commission on Monday, March 6, unanimously recommended the city grant a conditional use permit (CUP) for the nightclub.


The new business was initially issued a two-year lease for the space and were allowed a liquor license to sell alcohol until 2 a.m., without discussion between city planner Robin Huston and the business owners.

The new recommendation, proposed by Huston, includes 11 conditions that must be met by the nightclub or the permit can be revoked.

Of those conditions, the planning commission asks that a fence be built in order to shield some of the noise vibrating from the club.

Owners Gerald Bailey and Kaluah Smith were not in attendance Monday, but one nearby resident, Barry Olson, said he is concerned that the vibrating noise of bass coming from a nightclub will keep him awake at nights.

However, when asked if he had complaints the past three weekends the club has been open, Olson said he had not heard any noise.

"I didn't even know they were open," Olson said. "If I fall asleep, it may not bother me."

The nightclub did not receive any other complaints after opening weekend.

Planning commissioner Nicole Mattson worries a required screening fence will not be enough to cut off the noise.


"This is a really unfortunate situation all the way around," Mattson said. "I'd like to give them (Classic Touch) a chance to try, but I also don't want to give them an unlimited time."

City Attorney John Shockley said language can be placed in the plan that would allow the city to place conditions on the nightclub to reduce noise complaints. If the club continues to garner complaints, the city can revoke the conditional use permit. Huston said the CUP will also ask that the nightclub close by 1 a.m., instead of 2 a.m.

Huston added that if the noise continues to be an issue, residents must report it.

"If people are bothered by the noise, they have to call the police, they have to call the non-emergency hotline," Huston said.

The owners have described the new club as a diverse, multi-cultural experience in which patrons can enjoy everything from African music, calypso, jazz and R&B to pop, country and popular oldies “from when we weren’t even born.”

Gerald Bailey, left, and Kaluah Smith stand Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, in front of the Brothers' Table building in north Moorhead. They will open the Classic Touch night club on the south side of the building.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Classic Touch is expected to be open Wednesdays through Sundays with each night devoted to a theme. Wednesdays is ladies’ night and karaoke, Thursdays highlight reggae, Fridays play pop, Saturday is Afrobeat night and Sunday is "old school” night, boasting top hits from the '70s, '80s and '90s.

The planning commission's unanimous recommendation now moves on to the Moorhead City Council for final approval. The Moorhead City Council meets next Monday, March 13.

Readers can reach reporter Wendy Reuer at or 701-241-5530 . Follow her on Twitter @ForumWendy .

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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