About

We are a Family owned San Diego business,  focused solely on Table Top and Role Playing games and the community around them.  We have been playing board games as a family for many years and want to share that experience with others. We decided to create a place where everyone is welcomed to come and grab a game off the shelf and play!

For a nominal fee of $7 per day (or less if you are a member), you can enjoy our ever growing selection of over 600 board games. That’s less than a movie ticket, and is way more fun!!! We have a fun, friendly and knowledgeable staff that will help you find the right type of game that you may be looking to play.  We also have weekly, and monthly events, plus other fun activities centering around Tabletop games. We look forward to seeing you at the Table!

Our family’s first 10 games that got us into board gaming, and eventually led to this store!

Our Place

Our store is located just off of Main Street in El Cajon, California. 

We are primarily a place where you can meet with your friends, and play some games! We have over 600+ games available in our library, and are welcoming to people from all walks of life and all ages. 

We have four main rooms, three of them dedicated to game play. We have big and small tables, depending on the size of your game, and plenty of comfortable chairs. All of our games are located in the back room, where you can browse for the game that you want to play. All of our employees are familiar with board games, and will gladly help you with picking, finding, or learning any board game that you have in mind.

We have a special room that is more closed off than the others, making it a great spot for role playing games. Members have the privilege of reserving tables, and can do so in this room.

If you play a game that you really like, or need a gift for a friend, then we also have a retail section. You can find all sorts of things from dice, board games, and cool trinkets and statues!


Introducing a new feature of Off the Shelf Games – the Painting Station!

We have 67 different paints available for use, all of which is included in the entrance fee (or free for members). We also have employees who are familiar with minis and painting them that will gladly help you, and will show you some tips and tricks if you are new.

We provide the paints and tools, but you have to bring your own mini to paint. They can be from anything, from a mini for your favorite board game to a mini from your favorite role play system. You can even buy the minis at our store and paint them here! Happy painting!

Why Board Games?

Short answer….. Because they are fun!
Long answer…..
I have always loved games, all kinds of games. From traditional Board games like Monopoly and Clue; Card Games like Spades and Hearts; to Active Games like Tag and Hide and go Seek. And I would argue that Everyone loves games of some sort: Sports are structured physical games, and everyone plays some sort of Video Game on thier phone, if not on a console or Computer, and lets not forget that Las Vegas is a city built on Games! (of course there is the lure of cash that goes along with that) So with that in mind, I was shocked when I discovered that there are Literally Thousands of different Tabletop games available! And they really all have different feels to them, with different mechanics and themes. So I started buying them and playing them with my family, and we all became hooked! There is nothing like sitting around the table for a couple of hours, and seeing who can build the best Railroad (Ticket to Ride); Who can build the best settlements (Catan); Who is the best racer (Formula D); Or if we can all gather treasure and survive a sinking island (Forbidden Island). We would then introduce these games to our family and friends, and they would Love them and ask where they can get them. But with the amount and variety of these games out there, and the cost, it can become overwhelming to find which one would best suit a Family or person. So we decided to open up a store that would not only sell the games, but have them available to play! That way a person, couple, or family can come in, sit down, play a game or two, and then decide if it is something they would want to take home or not. When we open, we will have a starting Library of over 600 Games available for play, and we will be adding more weekly, so there will always be something available for someone to try out!
I hope that answered the question, But if you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me at jerry@offtheshelfgames.com.
Thanks!