Student Choice Awards Winner

The Library Coffee House serves as a home away from home

“Zombies” by The Cranberries harmonizes with the subtle hum of coffee machines as people sit in The Library Coffee House getting their work done. Here with headphones on, eyes on a computer or a book—there is quiet sanctuary.

On the corner of East Broadway and Redondo Avenue, The Library Coffee House has stood for decades under different owners. In 2018, Jon Cavus, 55, who has been in the industry since he was 18, became the new owner. In Turkey, where Cavus is from, he opened a restaurant that evolved into a small chain that he ran for twenty years.

When Cavus took over The Library, the shop was blocked with heavy, antique furniture. It was dimly lit and hard for people to see. But Cavus saw potential.

“The shop was very old, not well-repaired,” Cavus said. “If I take [it] over, I think I can arrange and make it look beautiful, and put my personality and my knowledge into it.”

Because the windowed walls of the shop face north, Cavus explained the rooms don’t get much light. To help brighten the space, Cavus painted the floors and walls lighter. Now, the coffee shop seems to glow with a sunny haze.

Photography for sale hangs over the seating available to customers.
Photography for sale hangs over the seating available to customers. Photo credit: Kelsey Brown

The coffeeshop is put together like patchwork, with different tables and chairs coming together to make a living room and individual chandeliers dangling—like snowflakes, each one unique—in every room. The walls are dressed in splattered artwork and photography for sale.

Outside the shop, there are tables and chairs, often accompanied by musicians who scratch at their guitars or sing or both. The baristas describe the inside as “cozy” and “homey.” Exposed brick is met with walls, each painted a different hue: earthy greens and gold, rich rust, topped with a plum ceiling.

“The colors that are painted on the walls have that kind of warm feeling,” Amelia Roesner, a barista at The Library, said. “The books all around make it feel like we’re in an actual library. It’s really comfy.”

True to the name, the coffee shop’s walls are lined with books that range from fiction to textbooks to photo books. All the books in the shop are available for sale for around $2. Roesner mentioned the shop holds open-mic nights and stand-up comedy, which can be heard from word of mouth or by following the shop on social media.

The chai latte is Roesner’s favorite drink, but beyond coffee, the shop offers a variety of “munchies” and “sweet treats”—croissant breakfast sandwiches, bagels, matcha-flavored ice cream, cheesecake, paninis, pie and more. Under Cavus’ ownership, the shop has expanded its vegan options.

A sausage and cheddar croissant sandwich from The Library Coffee House.
A sausage and cheddar croissant sandwich from The Library Coffee House. Photo credit: Kelsey Brown

Though coffee is an essential part of The Library, Roesner says it’s more than just a coffee shop. With art, music, and community, the Library serves as a gathering spot for not just students, but for anyone who needs a cozy space to call home for the day.

“We have a huge variety,” Roesner said. “[People] come here just to hang out— we just happen to have snacks and coffee.”

For more information, visit

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daily 49er newsletter