The University of Hawaiʻi’s first ever, fully licensed Starbucks store is now open for business at UH Mānoa’s Campus Center.

“I think it is a really good addition to the campus,” said UH Mānoa student Erik Kinne. “The food and drinks are great and the atmosphere is great.”

Fellow UH student Bryson Okuno says he likes the look of the place.

“It’s a nice spot on campus so I’m sure a lot of people will come here and hang out,” said Okuno.

The 1,092 square foot store is part of the 42 million dollar, Campus Center renovation project and will include a 95 seat outdoor terrace when the project is completed in 2013. The blessing for the new store was held July 23.

The idea of having a Starbucks on campus was generated and spearheaded by students on the UH Mānoa Campus Center Board, who recognized a serious need.

Campus Center Board President Michelle Tagorda, a senior at UH Mānoa, sees the new Starbucks as a place that students can gather on campus. “It’s not something they have to go off campus like Starbucks at Kahala Mall but something they can come here and get something to drink and do the studying they wanted to do.”

“We just wanted to have a gathering place for students that they can rely on,” said Tagorda.

The UH Mānoa Starbucks has extended hours—6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday thru Thursdays, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, for the spring and fall semesters. The former coffee shop used to close at 4 pm.

“There is really no place to like hang out other than the library at nighttime if you wanted to stay on campus,” said Darcy Smith, who just graduated from UH Mānoa. “So that will be really good for students for studying, if you have to meet up with people, you can meet at Starbucks now.”

The former coffee shop at campus center, the Corner Market Café, is being converted into a grab-and-go service with salads, sandwiches and drinks.