Legal Sea Foods was created in 1950 when George Berkowitz opened a fish market within the Inman Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He opened it alongside his father Harry’s supermarket Legal Seafoods Menu where customers were given “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 in writing plates at communal picnic tables. Regardless of the low-key trappings, the food was second to none and word quickly spread. This early success triggered further expansion and today, six decades later with restaurants across the Eastern Seaboard, the household philosophy endures: Legal Sea Foods is actually a fish company inside the restaurant business.
George’s son, Roger, continues to be on the helm since 1992 and it has expanded the organization into new markets and keep the company’s focus on its proud tradition and core values. Then when we say, “When it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal!,” we renew a commitment which includes sustained us for more than a half-century.
It’s not really a fish tale, but a tale of fish 60 years in the making…of a family-owned seafood market that spawned a restaurant company. View our restaurants’ placemat that details our history.
“Legal Sea Foods claws its method to the top! The votes are in and seafood-loving readers have selected their most favorite location to savor the flavors in the sea. ‘If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal’ will be the slogan around this popular chain – stretching from Florida to Massachusetts – which features its own waterfront purity lab that inspects every delivery. Famed for its thick and bipartisan New England clam chowder, that has been served at the Presidential Inaugurations of all the five presidents since Ronald Reagan in 1981, it also bwnqql a huge menu of each and every kinds of seafood dish.” – USA Today
Named certainly one of America’s “Best New Restaurants” for 2011 by Esquire magazine: “The rescue of the Boston waterfront from decrepitude presently has an anchor: the 3-story Legal Harborside at Liberty Wharf, the biggest restaurant in the city. The first level is only a swankier version in the other thirty-one Legal Sea Foods houses – fish and chips, that kind of thing – however the elegant second floor is a thing way the food chain.
Order a dark and stormy in the bar and rich lobster soup within buttery pastry dome. And rare abalone is sautéed in amontillado sherry and served with lemony risotto and sweet white asparagus. Decked out in the sleek look of any classic ocean liner – or maybe a Kennedy yacht (Ted was actually a big Legal fan) – with curved rosewood ceilings and black, mastlike columns, the area is perched above the city lights, the quiet harbor, as well as 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