The Coffee Bean — Ka Makana Ali’i

“Mall food court” may conjure up visions of bored teens and exhausted parents rather than hyper-productive gig economy types. But I submit to you that the little corner of the Ka Makana Ali’i food court near The Coffee Bean has:

  • Coffee nearby, obviously
  • Ample seating, of various styles
  • Free wifi

What else do you need?

Most Saturday mornings, I take the short walk from my home in Kapolei up Kapolei Parkway and through the mall to The Coffee Bean. It’s peaceful, because, at that time of the morning, The Coffee Bean is only thing open on that side of the mall.

You can sit inside if you like, it’s air conditioned. I prefer posting up at one of the standing tables at the food court. While I sip an iced coffee and pick at a bagel, and enjoy that pleasant time of day when nature turns up the thermostat, slowly worming me as I warm up to working.

I always get into a pretty good, productive zone. In 90 minutes or so, I’ll have finished an article, look up, and be surprised to see that the mall has come to life around me.

Here, a family headed for ice cream, with their toddler barely keeping up. There, a teenage couple strolling hand-in-hand, in no hurry because they aren’t really going anywhere.

If I may get a little mushy, it reminds me why I work so hard on this site. I want to connect all these folks and give them inspiration for places to go and things to do.

Both The Coffee Bean and Ka Makana Ali’i offer free wifi. I’ve found the mall’s wifi to be more reliable when I’m in the food court. It’s an unsecured network, so I don’t check my bank accounts, but it’s fine for basic web surfing and writing.

I like the variety of seating options. I can stand for awhile at the high-top tables, or sit on one of the tall stools. If my legs get tired, I can claim a chair at one of the lower tables.

I’m usually on my way back home by 11:30—before the lunch crowd comes. Or, I just become part of the lunch crowd myself.