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Phil’s Lock and Key
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer
Published in the September 22, 2016 edition

 I spoke with Terry Brown, who with her husband, Mike and daughter Erin, run Phil’s Lock and Key, which has recently relocated to 1165 Newmark Avenue in the “Y” Plaza in Empire. When their landlord decided to do something else with the place they had at 884 South Broadway in Coos Bay, the Browns found it was time to find a new location for their business.

Although “Phil” hasn’t owned this business for many years, the Browns decided to keep the name when they purchased it. “In 2005, we were out here on vacation and ran into the owners of Phil’s Lock and Key, and my husband Mike said he would love to own a business in this beautiful place. Then current owner, John, said that his business was for sale, so in April of 2006 we signed the papers,” said Terry. “We were doing locksmith work in Custer, South Dakota, and jumped at the chance to move here!  I had lived in Hood River, and have sisters in Medford, so it was just a logical decision to move here.”  

Erin Brown, Terry Brown, Mike Brown of Phil’s Lock & Key at their new location, 1165 Newmark Ave, Coos Bay

Although the Brown’s business is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, they are on-call 24/7 for emergency service. “We are the AAA providers for lockouts in the south-western coastal area,” said Terry. “If you lock your keys in your car, if you lose your keys, if you lock yourself out of your house, we’re the ones to call.  We will go and do re-keys of house locks in cases of emergency, to keep you safe, at any time. Realtors will refer people to us to rekey houses for their clients who have just purchased a new home, so they don’t have to worry about people being able to get in their house.”

 I asked Terry to list the services available at Phil’s Lock and Key. “Well, lockouts are one of the main things we do, but we also re-key houses, which means that we change your existing locks to function with a different key,” she replied. “We also do master key systems, lock installations, safe opening, repair, combination change and sales, keys cut by code, and of course, we copy keys.”

 So are there any lockout situations that stand out from the others? “Yes,” Terry laughed. “Mike went on a call down at the Charleston docks, where people were crabbing and had dropped their keys in the water. He went to the car and unlocked it, and when the customer pulled the crab pots out of the water, there were the keys, right in the pot!”

 I asked Terry why they decided to advertise in the South Coast Shopper.  “We hadn’t advertised for several years, and I know how widely-read the Shopper is, so we thought it would be a really good place to start advertising. As a thank you to our customers, we wrote the ad so that if you come in and mention you saw our ad in the Shopper, you buy a key and get one free.” she said.

 Future plans for Phil’s Lock and Key include expanding to offer transponder key copies. You know those car keys with a computer chip in them that can cost up to $300 to replace?  Well, the machine to make them costs $7,000, so the Browns are saving for that right now.

If you need a new key, or you’ve locked yourself out of your house or car, give Phil’s Lock and Key a call at 541-269-5285. “We just want to keep doing what we’re doing, always improving where we can,” said Terry. “Mostly we want to say, ‘come see us!’”.

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