The yellow double-door garage on Lincoln Boulevard has housed not just any ordinary plumbing service. The Klein family has served as the neighborhood plumber for the past 66 years. At the end of this month, Lincoln Pipe & Plumbing Supply will sadly be closing its doors for the last time after selling the land.
Jackie Levine, the eldest of original owner Bill Klein’s daughters, has been maintaining the shop alongside her two sisters, Sandy and Paula.
“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Levine said.
It’s inevitable that mixed emotions will be part of the equation – the shop has always been a part of her life.
The Kleins opened up shop back in February 1948 and has always emphasized the importance of personalized customer service.
Levine recalls from her childhood her father teaching customers basic plumbing skills on Saturdays in between clients.
Today, Levine and her sisters have not failed to continue on the legacy of top-notch service, as Levine describes her exchanges with her customers as educational and fun.
Her specialty is in designing bathrooms. In order to provide her customers with a hands-on, kinesthetic experience, she said she sits her clients on toilets and puts them in tubs.
The small staff stresses customer service in several ways. Levine describes their client base as covering “the whole gamut,” as contractors, plumbers, designers, and homeowners alike come to seek the shop’s services.
“You can come in and buy a 10-cent washer or build entire houses,” she said.
But regardless of whether they were working on million-dollar projects or single bathrooms, Lincoln Pipe & Plumbing provided each and every customer with the same level of attention.
During one of California’s archetypal earthquakes, clients and locals alike lined up at the garage as Lincoln Pipe & Plumbing provided batteries and flashlights for those who needed them. In this way, the shop has also served as a sort of safe haven for the people of Santa Monica.
Lincoln Pipe & Plumbing sets out to provide its customers with a friendly, inviting atmosphere. Customers can always find a variety of snacks inside the shop, including cookies, donuts, and coffee, as well as biscuits for pet dogs and play areas for children.
Levine originally began to work at Lincoln Pipe & Plumbing as a part-time occupation in between jobs, but eventually took full control with her sisters. Though Levine does not live within the vicinity of Santa Monica, she has remained devoted to the shop and to her customers due to the many loyal relationships that have been forged. Lincoln Pipe & Plumbing boasts three generations of skilled plumbers. Levine’s daughter Lisa has previously worked at the shop.
Though there will soon be no more physical brick-and-mortar building, the same forms of services past will be maintained in another way. Levine will somewhat carry on the legacy from her home office and continue to cater to her client base.
Lincoln Pipe & Plumbing will be closing on the last day of March. As a type of special deal, the owners will be paying for tax on all items bought on Saturdays. The shop is located on 2919 Lincoln Boulevard. For more information, call 310.396.2667 or visit lincolnpipe.com.