Legal Sea Foods was created in 1950 when George Berkowitz opened a fish market in the Inman Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He opened it next to his father Harry’s food store Legal Seafoods Restaurant where customers received “Legal Stamps” (forerunners of S&H green stamps) with their purchases. It’s here that the “Legal” name became synonymous with quality and freshness.
In 1968, the Berkowitz family opened its first seafood restaurant, right near the fish market. The fish was simply prepared, either broiled or fried, and served on paper plates at communal picnic tables. Regardless of the low-key trappings, the food was second to none and word quickly spread. This early success led to further expansion and now, six decades later with restaurants across the Eastern Seaboard, the household philosophy endures: Legal Sea Foods is really a fish company within the restaurant business.
George’s son, Roger, has become at the helm since 1992 and has expanded the company into new markets while keeping the company’s focus on its proud tradition and core values. So when we say, “If this isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal!,” we renew a commitment which includes sustained us for over one half-century.
It’s not just a fish tale, but a tale of fish 60 years within the making…of a household-owned seafood market that spawned a nearby restaurant company. View our restaurants’ placemat that details our history.
“Legal Sea Foods claws its way to the top! The votes will be in and seafood-loving readers have chosen their preferred spot to savor the flavors of the sea. ‘If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal’ is definitely the slogan at this popular chain – stretching from Florida to Massachusetts – which possesses its own waterfront purity lab that inspects every delivery. Famed for its thick and bipartisan New England clam chowder, that has been served on the Presidential Inaugurations of five presidents since Ronald Reagan in 1981, in addition, it bwnqql a huge menu of every types of seafood dish.” – USA Today
Named among America’s “Best New Restaurants” for 2011 by Esquire magazine: “The rescue of the Boston waterfront from decrepitude presently has an anchor: three of the-story Legal Harborside at Liberty Wharf, the biggest restaurant within the city. The initial level is only a swankier version from the other thirty-one Legal Sea Foods houses – fish and chips, that kind of thing – however the elegant second floor is something way up the food chain.
Order a dark and stormy in the bar and rich lobster soup under a buttery pastry dome. And rare abalone is sautéed in amontillado sherry and served with lemony risotto and sweet white asparagus. Decked in the sleek look of any classic ocean liner – or maybe a Kennedy yacht (Ted was a big Legal fan) – with curved rosewood ceilings and black, mastlike columns, the space is perched over the city lights, the quiet harbor, and also the dark, faraway ocean. If you discover yourself on those waters, sail right in and tie up. The restaurant features its own slip.” – Esquire, 2011