July 13 was the official opening of Cool Water Fusion Restaurant in Wyoming Mall Shopping Center. The location is not visible unless you’re driving through the center’s expansive parking lot, but I guarantee that once you find it, you’ll happily make a return trip. On a visit to Cool Water Fusion, I learn that it is the creation of Glenn Williams and Jason Upshaw, both formerly of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s Pueblo Harvest Café and Bakery.
Williams and Upshaw use sustainable planning at Cool Water, from the tablecloths (no throwaway paper) to the New Mexico heritage beef and local produce. Shopping daily means waste is kept to a minimum and ingredients are fresh. Williams is also a stickler for quality control, making sure that even takeout orders look their best from restaurant to table. This careful design is apparent in the small dining area—boldly colored walls are lined with reproductions of Ansel Adams photographs. The contemporary flair is reflected in a TV screen that scrolls through the day’s specials. Comfortable booths line both sides of the room with a row of tables in between. A large fish tank set into the end wall is the coolest water in sight.
When I ask the duo what they want most from this enterprise, Upshaw replies, “I want to make the best food!” Williams nods, and emphasizes their goal of making Cool Water “a neighborhood restaurant—a place where people can feel at home.” Asked about the restaurant’s somewhat cryptic name, Williams says, “It feels good” and leaves it at that.