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Downtown restaurant reopening today
Cold Fusion opening in former Miners Sports Bistro building
Cold Fusion
The former Miners Sports Bistro location is now Cold Fusion Food & Spirits, which opens with a limited lunch menu today.

A new restaurant is opening in downtown Platteville today.

Cold Fusion Food & Spirits is opening in the former Miner’s Sports Bistro at 92 E. Main St.

Cold Fusion’s owner, Joe Perkins, plans a soft opening for lunch, followed by dinner next week.

“I’ve been in this business a long time,” said Perkins, a military veteran and former baseball player. “I started at McDonald’s when I was 16. I’ve always worked in restaurants no matter what I was trying to do.”

One restaurant stop after Operation Desert Storm was in Virginia Beach, Va., where Perkins worked with two cooks at an Italian restaurant. One knew English, and the other did not, he said.

Perkins and his wife, Vanessa Berg, M.D., also own the Cook’s Room in downtown Dodgeville. They had planned on opening new restaurants, but in an opposite direction from Dodgeville.

“This fell in my lap 2½ weeks ago,” said Perkins. “I was looking toward Verona and Mount Horeb and Madison. But this has 3½ times as many people as Dodgeville, so we’ll make a go of it. We’re looking to expand more too.”

The lunch menu as of this week includes sandwiches, wraps, salads and a soup of the day. Burgers, chicken and flatbread pizzas will be available all day.

As you might expect from the name, “my dinner menu is fusion food,” said Perkins. “It’s different than other places you’ll see.”

The dinner menu will feature steaks, pastas, seafood and vegetarian items.

The inclusion of seafood on the menu is ironic because Perkins said he is allergic to seafood, to the point of where he has to wear gloves to prepare it.

The bar will have more local beers on tap than its predecessor had. “My goal would be to have kids come in for dinner first and then go out,” said Perkins.

The restaurant has 10 employees at its opening, with Perkins expecting to hire another five or six employees.