In 1906, Isaac Sofaer, the son of a family of provisions purveyors from Bagdad who came to Rangoon as a child, commissioned the renowned architect Thomas Swales to construct the Sofaer & Co building to be a centre of commerce at the most prestigious postcode in the region at the turn of the twentieth century – Lower Pansodan Road.
In 2016, a group of friends who met in Yangon stumbled upon a derelict unit at the far right of the once thriving emporium, which was being used as a warehouse for plastic packaging.
A dream was born: to revive a place that could be a space for the meeting of minds, to build a home away from home for people at cross-roads in a country at cross-roads.
The brainchild of Ingyin Zaw, Sofaer & Co. adopted the name of its namesake building. Here we celebrate life’s simple pleasures – coffee, cocktails and an open kitchen with the freshest local and regional ingredients.
Sofaer & Co’s space preserved most of the original features of the building – including the encaustic Victorian-era tiles from Manchester, steel beams from Lancashire and wood panels from possibly the era of the Vienna Café and Burma Book Club.
The clean, contemporary design pays homage to the history of the building, featuring our own designed, locally made furniture with the signature Burmese rattan weaving, locally commissioned artwork and reclaimed glassware from Nagar Glass Factory.