Legal Sea Foods came to be 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 supermarket Legal Seafoods Catering 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 next to the fish market. The fish was simply prepared, either broiled or fried, and served on paper plates at communal picnic tables. Inspite 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 along the Eastern Seaboard, the family philosophy endures: Legal Sea Foods is a fish company within the restaurant business.
George’s son, Roger, has been in the helm since 1992 and has expanded the business into new markets while keeping the company’s focus on its proud tradition and core values. So when we say, “When it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal!,” we renew a commitment which has sustained us more than one half-century.
It’s not just a fish tale, but a tale of fish 60 years inside the making…of a family-owned seafood market that spawned a cafe or restaurant company. View our restaurants’ placemat that details our history.
“Legal Sea Foods claws its approach to the top! The votes have been in and seafood-loving readers have chosen their most favorite location to savor the flavors in 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 features its own waterfront purity lab that inspects every delivery. Famed because of its thick and bipartisan New England clam chowder, that has been served at the Presidential Inaugurations of five presidents since Ronald Reagan in 1981, additionally, it bwnqql an enormous menu of every types of seafood dish.” – USA Today
Named one of America’s “Best New Restaurants” for 2011 by Esquire magazine: “The rescue of the Boston waterfront from decrepitude has an anchor: the 3-story Legal Harborside at Liberty Wharf, the biggest restaurant in the city. The initial level is simply a swankier version of the other thirty-one Legal Sea Foods houses – fish and chips, that kind of thing – nevertheless the elegant second floor is a thing way up the food chain.
Order a dark and stormy on the bar and rich lobster soup within a 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 the classic ocean liner – or even a Kennedy yacht (Ted had been a big Legal fan) – with curved rosewood ceilings and black, mastlike columns, the room is perched higher than the city lights, the quiet harbor, and the dark, faraway ocean. If you discover yourself on those waters, sail right in and tie up. The restaurant possesses its own slip.” – Esquire, 2011