I few weeks ago, I was out in the San Francisco Bay area on a business trip. I didn't have a whole lot of free time to spare, but I did manage to wander past a local game store to check it out, and see what it was like. I travel out to the Bay area every once in a while, and knowing where to stop in for a quick break can always come in handy!
The store in question is the Game Kastle, in Santa Clara, CA. I can't say much for its location, tucked into the corner between the 101 freeway and San Jose Mineta international airport, and sandwiched between an auto body shop and a trophy seller. Still, the store was friendly, and amazingly full of both popular and obscure miniatures of all varieties.
Even better, it turned out that I was there on the day of their semi-regular gaming flea market. People were in from all around the area with piles of used miniatures, books, terrain and other items to be sold off at discount prices. I got to talk to a few sellers, and even picked up a small number of bargain items that could be crammed into my overflowing suitcase. It was a great way to round out week on the road.
I gather that the unadorned garage space to the side of the sales floor is normally made available for gaming space. All in all, it seemed like a nice little shop which caters heavily to the metal and plastic crowd. I would say that it's worth a look, if you're in the are, and can manage to find parking.
I will try to go back on a future trip to see what it's like on a regular business day.