There's good news and bad news for fans of Nimeta, one of two bars hit by sanctions from Tallinn city authorities over noise complaints from residents.
The good news is that Super Bowl Sunday festivities will be unaffected. Previous press reports were that the bar, which is open into the wee hours on weekends, would have to start shutting its doors at midnight on February 1, which would rule out a big-screen showing of the American football championship scheduled to kick off at 1:30 Estonian time. The correct date is February 10.
The bad news is the city has confirmed that it will go ahead with its action starting on that Monday. That has prompted the owners of the bar to petition administrative court for an injunction that will keep the doors open until the courts come to a final decision, uudised.err.ee reported.
The two bars affected - Shooters, also on Suur-Karja Street, is the other one - maintain that the noise comes from people loitering outside. Some of them are customers who under Estonian law are not permitted to smoke inside. Others, the bars say, may not be.
"The City Center District's decision that the bars are to close at midnight starting February 10 was clearly made too hastily. Arbitrarily restricting hours of operation will not have any effect on the Old Town public order and the problem of noisy partiers will simply be pushed 100 meters further down the street," Vallo Palvadre, a Nimeta co-owner, told uudised.err.ee.
Palvadre estimated the loss of revenue for Nimeta would be 360,000 euros a year.
He also said that the city has not conducted any official noise level measurements, and that police responding to disturbances have not found any noise violation due to music coming from inside the bar. Meanwhile, Shooters has posted signs on its window asking people to respect quiet hours.
But although the move is said to be prompted by complaints, city officials like Deputy Mayor Kalle Klandorf have previously alluded to a problem of culture, saying that they want to drive a certain stag party mentality out of the Old Town.
Nimeta, which opened in 1995 and is one of the oldest such establishments still operating in Tallinn, enjoyed a second blossoming a decade later with the popularity of Estonia as a party destination for British bachelors flying low-cost carriers.