Born and raised in Washington, DC, T. Cole Newton moved to New Orleans in 2006 to volunteer full-time with AmeriCorps in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. After his service year, Cole took a bartending job at Commander’s Palace, culinary alma mater of Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. In 2008, he developed and implemented the cocktail program as the first bar manager at the Uptown bistro Coquette. Inspired by that experience, Cole opened his Mid City cocktail dive Twelve Mile Limit in 2010. Among other accolades, Twelve Mile Limit was chosen as the Best Bar in New Orleans by The Manual in 2017. Cole’s second bar, the Domino, opened in 2019 on St. Claude Avenue in the New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood.
Cole’s book, Cocktail Dive Bar: Real Drinks, Fake History, and Questionable Advice From New Orleans’s Twelve Mile Limit (Running Press, 2021), recounts his experience as a young bar owner in the Crescent City with classic and original recipes, humorous and insightful essays. “The book is knowledgeable but not pretentious, entertaining but not distracting—Newton's writing is almost as good as the drinks. Almost,” writes Nathan Matisse in Ars Technica.
In addition to his work in bars, Cole still volunteers extensively. He is currently the national President and Board Chair of the United States Bartending Guild, and the Board Secretary of the New Orleans Women and Children’s Shelter. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Lelia, and son, Felix, and recently beat Super Mario Brothers 3 without a warp whistle for the first time.