By Chris Takahashi | Staff Writer

It’s finals time and that means KCC’s Lama Library should be more crowded than usual, at least in theory. For those looking to escape the crowds and still keep levels of productivity high, look no further than this list of off-campus study spots in close proximity to campus.

Coffee Talk, 3601 Waiʻalae Ave.

Located on the corner of Wai‘alae Ave. and 12th Avenue in Kaimuki, Coffee Talk will satisfy the needs of any caffeine-deprived student. The place offers a considerable selection of lattes (hot or iced) and also serves breakfast all day. The ambience of the coffee-centric institution — it’s been around for more than 20 years — is unique and best experienced firsthand. A multitude of tables, bar-style seating, and a consistent wifi connection make Coffee Talk a preeminent study hangout. Plus, it’s only a few blocks from KCC’s campus.

Safeway, 888 Kapahulu Ave.

Wait, isn’t Safeway a chain supermarket? How does that constitute a study spot? In fact, that distinction makes this location an undervalued and great addition to the list of off-campus study spots, so long as you can find a seat at one of the few tables available adjacent to the sushi station. There’s wifi here and it’s open 24 hours, seven days a week. If you’re suffering from insomnia at 3 a.m. with that pending assignment due the next day, Safeway’s study “nook” might just be your new best friend. With an almost endless supply of study snacks practically within arm’s reach, Safeway makes the cut as a serious contender for late night study sessions.

Starbucks, 625 Kapahulu

Starbucks doesn’t need much of an introduction since most of us are probably familiar with the global coffee chain. The Starbucks located on the corner of Kapahulu and Mo‘oheau avenues deserves praise for reasons of practicality alone: there’s a generous range of coffee and tea options, and the place is open from 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily (11 p.m. on Sunday). Though the number of available seats is limited, I’ve never had an issue finding a free seat during the later evening hours.

Coffee Bean, 3206 Monsarrat Ave.

The Coffee Bean on Monsarrat Avenue is probably the most conveniently accessible study spot for KCC students since it’s less than a 10-minute walk from campus. Similar to Starbucks, Coffee Bean may not need much of an introduction. Their claim to fame as a coffee chain from California began with their ice blended drinks, which remain popular to this day. Coffee Bean closes earlier than Starbucks does, and while seating is limited, this never seems to be an issue during the evening hours for those that need to crank out an assignment last minute. Pressure makes diamonds, right? 

Kono’s “Da Room”, 945 Kapahulu Ave. 

Kono’s on Kapahulu is best known for their pulled pork sandwiches and breakfast bombers (aka burritos), but their latest offering is an addendum to the actual menu. Located just adjacent to the popular eatery is their new coffee-infused hangout known as “Da Room.” This recently opened locale for coffee caters particularly well to students. You’ll receive a 15% discount by showing your student ID and score access to their free wifi network. Not only that, but Da Room features free coffee refills all day to boot. Although Da Room is only open on weekends for now, you may want to check it out soon before the place becomes as coveted as the pulled pork at Kono’s next door.

Kaimukī Public Library, 1041 Koko Head Ave.

The Kaimukī Public Library is a great place for study if you desire a distraction-free environment. The library is not large by any means, but depending on the time of day, it usually has seats available. There’s also free computers available for use and a row of desks devoted to those with electronic devices that wish to plug in while they access the wifi network. However, to access wifi, you’ll have to become a member of the Hawai‘i State Public Library system, which is free for residents and $25 annually for non-residents. One small caveat: If easy access to thousands of books proves to be a distraction from your class-specific assignments, then you may want to consider a different place to study. Conversely, if your assignment requires outside research, Kaimukī Public Library is the place to go.

Unfortunately, Kaimukī Public Library has been closed since March 25 for air conditioning replacement and still remains closed as of publication today.