Now, I am from Tallinn so my views about my home town could be biased. Then again, based my last Friday night out, I would not move back here for the nightlife.
Living in Luxembourg, I come back to Tallinn every 2-3 months and this time I decided to go and check out the nightlife and some places that were new to me. We did some bar hopping in the new (for me) bar district near the old fire station.
We first wandered into a lounge bar Deja Vu (Vana Viru 8). It has rave reviews on the Internet as "the place to be". It was far to chilly to sit outside so we went in and found out that all the tables on the ground floor were booked. Promising. The place must be popular. We got a table on the first floor, close to the smoking room (which actually looked very nice). Unfortunately the first thing I saw was many fake flower decorations set against red walls - on the ground floor there was also a stage and a big curtain. I could not help but wonder, what performances might one see at this place? We did not stay long enough to find out. We had one drink, from the extensive drink menu, and left. The place was dark and unfriendly. The drink, however, by far, had the largest alcohol consistency of all the drinks I had that night.
Next bar/lounge we went to, was Rumours (Vana-Viru 13). The tables were set in a room U shaped around the kitchen. A nice touch was a hip fireplace. It was not as busy as Deja Vu so the five of us got a table easily. Another long drink menu and even longer and very varied food menu. We opted for some sushi and cocktails. The food was ok and the drink....well, I've had better, to put it politely. The service was very poor and I got the feeling that it was the girl's first day on the job. I hope so as that would at least explain it. If Deja Vu was very dark then in Rumours we had lamps shining straight into our eyes. Again, after one drink we decided to leave.
We ventured into 2 other lounge bars - the name for the first one I have already forgotten. It had live music and if you have ever been on a cruise between Tallinn and Helsinki, all you have to do is imagine one of the ship's bars and you get the picture. I was surprised to see that the place was packed! And I have been told that it is always packed. We did not stay there because we could not get a table. Next try was to go to Museum (Vana Viru 14). There were two areas at this place, and again the side we liked best was full, so we left.
Finally we ended up in lounge bar Butterfly (Vana Viru 13). The tables were full but the place was by no means packed. We found a comfortable little corner near the bar and got some drinks. The service was good and the drinks were delicious. There was an area with couches which looked very comfortable but everything was reserved. As we made it there close to midnight, and knowing estonian nightlife, I got the feeling that it was not really reserved but 'kept' in case some special customers come. Not sure if that strategy pays off in a little place like Tallinn. That aside, I loved Butterfly - from the drinks to the the interior design that was in many shades of pink to the bartenders, all male, and also dressed in pink. I will return.