March Community Connect – T. Cole Newton
This month for the Community Connect Series, the Witry Collective is honored to introduce T. Cole Newton. We helped Mr. Newton purchase a home in Mid-City where he happily resides with his lovely and accomplished wife, Lelia Gowland (more about Lelia next month). Cole has an entrepreneurial spirit with an affection for community cultivation, which is evident in everything he has accomplished throughout the 12 years he has lived in New Orleans. Cole puts a tremendous amount of thought and intention into his projects and he made his mark on the New Orleans bar scene when he opened Twelve Mile Limit in 2010. He is passionate about the history of New Orleans bars and the art form of mixology. He is an accomplished writer on such subjects and also hosts an entertaining and informative podcast with a fellow veteran bar tender. Cole is currently working on opening a new destination in Bywater, which we are sure will be an equally smashing success. As if he has time for much more, Cole is an active member of several non-profits that make enormous impacts throughout our city. He truly understands the building blocks of a vibrant community and how giving back enriches us all.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., T. Cole Newton graduated from Humboldt State University with honors in 2006, earning a BA in History. From there, he moved to New Orleans, enrolling with AmeriCorps to volunteer full-time in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. After his service year, Cole found his first full-time bartending job at Commander’s Palace, culinary alma mater of Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Cole developed a knack for bartending and hospitality, and in 2008 he developed and implemented the cocktail program as a founding staff member of the newly opened Uptown bistro Coquette.
Inspired by that experience, Cole opened his Mid-City cocktail dive Twelve Mile Limit in 2010. Among other honors, Twelve Mile Limit has been selected as one of the top ten bars in New Orleans by the Times-Picayune every year the list has been published and was named the best bar in New Orleans by The Manual in 2017. In addition to operating his own bar, Cole has consulted on bar programs at a range of venues, including restaurants, theaters, and hotels. He has also appeared on the Sundance Channel’s Beyond the Bar series and has found success in cocktail competitions, representing the United States at the International Bar Summit competition in Bordeaux, France in 2014.
Cole’s writing on bar ownership can be found on the Tales of the Cocktail and Neat Pour websites, at his Tumblr blog, Big Fat Cocktails, and he hosts a podcast with fellow veteran bartender, Steve Yamada, called A Round With Steve and Cole. Additionally, Cole is the current President of the New Orleans chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild and sits on the board of the New Orleans Women and Children’s Shelter.
Cole is also in the early stages of opening a second location. Stay tuned for The Domino, an approachable wine bar and gaming parlor, coming later this year to St. Claude Avenue in Bywater.