Ipoh’s Newest Landmark – The OldTown Heritage Centre has Finally Opened!

The largest halal-certified kopitiam chain in Malaysia, OldTown White Coffee, is well-known for its signature white coffee and traditional Malaysian fare. An evening soiree honouring its Artists Heritage Collaboration Project was held in conjunction with the opening of the company's new Heritage Centre, which is situated along Jalan Panglima in the heart of Ipoh. If you enjoy visiting Ipoh for a food trip or staycation, you may not want to miss visiting it!

The facade of the OldTown Heritage Centre, set to become Ipoh's latest landmark on the Heritage Trail. This 3-storey neo-colonial building stands as a proud symbol of the brand's origins at its birthplace.

The OldTown White Coffee initiative, which aims to elevate its Heritage Centre as a "living" heritage where artists can showcase any pieces of art that honour the sweet-smelling legacies of Ipoh white coffee, was unveiled during the celebrations that started in the evening.

The dining area on the first floor of Earthcare Cafe, a testament to OldTown White Coffee’s commitment to becoming a greener enterprise.

The eco-driven Earthcare Cafe, the OIdTown Heritage Gallery, and a shop space are arranged over three levels of the neo-colonial building, providing guests with an immersive experience into the legacy and history of white coffee. As the company's flagship farm-to-table restaurant concept, Earthcare Cafe will have a novel menu that deviates from the popular kopitiam fare and places a focus on locally and ethically produced food, such free-range eggs from cageless poultry farms.

Members of the media (from left) Kam Yan, Hoo Keat, and Nor Marshaliza are excited about the menu presentation at the flagship Earthcare Cafe, located inside the newly launched OldTown Heritage Centre.

“The OldTown Heritage Centre is not just a place to enjoy great coffee and food. It's a celebration of our shared history and values, as well as a platform for fostering community and environmental stewardship," commented Dawn Liew, CEO of Kopitiam Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd.

“Its position along the historically significant Heritage Trail meant that we must respect the pre-existing traditions that shaped the area, and this is reflected in the Heritage Centre’s architecture and how we operate the place internally.”

As part of OTWC's Artists Heritage Collaboration Project, the brand recognizes local artists who contributed to the Heritage Centre. Pictured from left are mural artist Chin Choon Yau, multi-medium artist Jeffrey Lim, cartoonist Azmi Hussin, and fashion designer Melinda Looi. From the OTWC management team, Chief Executive Officer Dawn Liew, Supply Chain Lead Grace Cheng, Chief Development Officer Deric Yeo, and Chief Finance Officer Arnold Molenhuis. 

The majority of the artists that spearheaded the Artists Heritage Collaboration Project were present during the opening, which was part of the brand's attempts to preserve its cultural heritage. These artists included:

1. Melinda Looi, celebrated fashion designer who was also chiefly responsible for creating the iconic brown coffee cups for OldTown White Coffee back in 2009, and has returned to create a limited edition, commemorative OldTown Heritage Tote Bag to mark the Heritage Centre’s opening.

2. Chuen Mun Wai, one of the last surviving traditional Chinese lantern makers in Malaysia who was specially commissioned to create five lanterns for the Heritage Centre, visible at the Ground Floor dining area.

3. Chin Choon Yau, a renowned mural artist from Ipoh who has painted over 300 walls that eulogises the cityscapes of yesteryear.

4. Lim Pui Wan, also known as “PicoWorm”, a miniature artist famed for creating exceedingly intricate and realistic dioramas that could fit the palm of a person.

5. Jeffrey Lim, a multi-talented photographer, cultural artist, and heritage enthusiast who contributed a vintage coffee brewing station, a collection of antique coffee cups, and a “Traditional Kopi Lineage” photo installation.

6. Azmi Hussin, a cartoonist celebrated for his quirky depictions of local life and the Malaysian record-holder for creating the country’s longest single comic strip, “Saga Kami”.

Local celebrity designer Melinda Looi, known for her longstanding relationship with OTWC, designed its iconic coffee cup and a commemorative tote bag, stands with Dawn Liew, CEO of Kopitiam Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd. 

“The Artists Heritage Collaboration Project will be an ongoing initiative for OldTown Heritage Centre to support local artists and craftsmen, and we will continue to seek out potential talents to create new installations to enrich our gallery,” added Liew. “It’s our way of giving back to the community who have done so much to give shape and definition to our business over the years, and our Heritage Centre now stands as a beacon of ingenuity, celebrating the best of what Ipoh has to offer, beyond white coffee.”

A vintage coffee brewing station found in traditional kopitiams, recreated by multi-medium artist Jeffrey Lim, is displayed at the OldTown Heritage Gallery. The gallery offers visitors an educational and immersive journey through the evolution of local coffee and kopitiam culture.

The OldTown Heritage Centre is set to welcome a new wave of domestic and foreign visitors eager to sample what was just named one of the greatest coffees in the world when it opens in the middle of Visit Perak Year 2024. OldTown White Coffee's newest flagship location raises the standard for how heritage companies may use their rich histories to cater to a discerning clientele that has a taste for the past, thanks to its innovative method of serving tried-and-true recipes together with a historical lesson.

To find out more info about OldTown White Coffee and the newly opened Heritage Centre, head on to their website at www.oldtown.com.my.