Legal Sea Foods was born in 1950 when George Berkowitz opened a fish market in the Inman Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He opened it adjacent to his father Harry’s grocery store Legal Cash Market 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. Despite 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 in the restaurant business.
George's son, Roger, has been at the helm since 1992 and has expanded the business into new markets while maintaining the company's focus on its proud tradition and core values. So when we say, "If it isn't fresh, it isn't Legal!," we renew a commitment that has sustained us for over a half-century.
It’s not a fish tale, but a tale of fish 60 years in the making…of a family-owned seafood market that spawned a restaurant company. See the Legal Sea Foods Timewave for an interactive look back. Or view our restaurants’ placemat that details our history.