I’m not going to mince words here, 12 Mile Limit is probably the best bar in New Orleans. Especially on a Saturday night when they’re non-smoking (and they mean it). Now, Cupcake will most certainly disagree with me, but a bar can’t be all things to all people.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty that isn’t ideal with 12 Mile Limit: it’s on the wrong side of Banks St., the buzzer entry door seems to be more of a necessity than a gimmick to lend a speakeasy feel to the joint, the building is in need of some serious repair work, and the bathrooms are reminiscent of some of the French Quarter’s finest. But in some kind of perverse way, all this leads to the charm a little bit more. I mean, there is some great amusement to be found in patrons who are trying to enter, but can’t quite figure out the buzzer system. It happens more than you’d think . . .
Fine, so what’s so great about 12 Mile? Basically everything else, and that starts with T. Cole Newton, formerly of Coquette, who owns and runs 12 Mile Limit. Cole has brought his love and knowledge of mixing fine cocktails to 12 Mile, but seemed to arrive without the off-putting pretension that sadly marks many a fine cocktail program. Want a Last Word, Aviation, Corpse Reviver or any other drink you’ll find from a Dale DeGroff or David Wondrich book? Coming right up. Vodka soda more your style? Don’t worry, you’ll still get served here (which is more than you can say at some “mixology” focused places). Want some draft beers in a Liuzza’s style chilled chalice? Hells yeah. Or if you need to up your hipster street cred, cans of PBR are there for the buying. The best part of the bar program here, the rock bottom prices. No $20 drinks here.
I’m pretty much sold just on all that, but 12 Mile has set itself up to get you and your friends settled in for the evening. Patrons aren’t shy about tearing into the huge supply of board games, including many classics from your childhood. You’ll have just as many people wrapped up in conversation as you will clustered around the high top tables lost in intense games of scrabble, scattergories and any number of other games. Conversation or board games not your thing? There’s a pool table in the back and a few TVs up front, including a big screen that has streaming Netflix.
While I always get a kick out of picking the bartenders’ brains about the various drinks and booze on display, there is only so much of that Cupcake and my friends can tolerate. Unashamedly, we’ll turn to the board games for entertainment. Most recently, I dragged Cupcake against her will, but in fairness I had to watch the Oscars. We ordered up a few drinks, headed to the back of the room and whipped out a board game. A couple well crafted drinks and a few rounds of the game, and without even realizing it Cupcake was having a great time. Even the fact that I pulled a Drew Brees-like come-from-behind miracle win in the waning minutes (think Saints v. Texans, 2011), couldn’t get her down. So maybe, just maybe, 12 Mile Limit can be everything to everyone. Probably not, but they’ll sure as hell try.
All these great things, and we’ve not even touched on the BBQ, cupcakes or special events. Look for our thoughts on those in the future.
12 Mile Limit
500 South Telemachus (a block Uptown from Finn’s)