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Gather Together At Wolf Tree: WRJ Newest Bar

Feb 20, 2020 05:50PM ● By Sue Baldani

Max Overstrom-Coleman of Wolf Tree

Max Overstrom-Coleman calls Wolf Tree, the bar he opened in November of 2019, his love letter to Vermont. Having split his childhood between Manhattan and Chelsea, Vermont, the place he really loved and identified with was the more rural setting of Vermont.

Being a bartender for over 20 years gave him the experience, ideas, and passion for what he wanted his own place to be. He’s excited to bring his vision of hospitality to life in a small, intimate setting.

Why did you decide to open your own place in White River Junction?

I wanted to give folks a place where they could come and enjoy local craft beer, fine and funky natural wines, and exceptionally crafted cocktails. I have a really strong desire to provide a community resource in terms of a place where people can come and gather and enjoy themselves.

So, let’s talk cocktails. I hear that you have some unique concoctions.

The cocktails we offer are thoughtful in that we often use locally sourced ingredients, including found and foraged ingredients. The distilling, brewing, and winemaking communities in Vermont are exceptional and I try to highlight that. Vermont is a state of people who are crafting and producing things at the highest level, and I feel very fortunate that we get to showcase that here.

I have a lot of passions and one of them is being creative with cocktails and cocktails flavors. I also have a wonderful staff and I’m looking forward to seeing them grow and expand their repertoire by featuring their creations.

What about the food?

We offer some incredible cured meats and cheeses, and we try to serve what is available in Vermont as much as possible. There are world-class cheesemakers here, and we serve cured meats as well. One of the newest additions in our meat selections is a cured goat/pork salami from Vermont Chevon, which is absolutely delicious. So, you can have nibbles and nosh while you’re being convivial, with plates that are meant to be shared and passed around.

What is the atmosphere of Wolf Tree?

During the week, the bar is cozy and intimate, but on Friday and Saturday nights it’s vibrant and festive.

There are some beautiful materials in the bar that are locally sourced. The bar itself is made from local marble from Danby, Vermont, and the artwork on the walls shows three different Wolf trees. I named the bar after these trees because not only are they iconic on their own, but they’re also a nod to Vermont’s agrarian past and my own ecological background. (Overstrom-Coleman pursued a doctorate in ecology at Dartmouth College.) Those trees existed because farmers planted them or allowed them to grow to provide shade and shelter for their pastured animals, but what they ended up being were community centers for all the pastured animals.  My feeling is that I want the bar to be the same for the community here in the Upper Valley.


Wolf Tree is located at 40 Currier Street in White River Junction.

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