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The brand Legal Sea Foods was born in 1950 with the Berkowitz family opening of a fish market in the Inman Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts. At that time there was also a related family business adjacent to the market, a grocery store, known as 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 first Legal Sea Foods restaurant opened, 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, ultimately led PPX Hospitality Brands (another Boston-based restaurant company and the parent company to Legal Sea Foods Restaurant Group Inc.) to acquire the corporate facility (Quality Control Center) and 23 restaurants as of December 2020. More recently in 2023, the corporate facility was renamed PPX Hospitality Brands – HQ (Company Headquarters) and moved to Boston Fish Pier.
Today, the Company maintains its commitment to quality standards, freshness, and the integrity behind the entire pier-to-plate process. We continue to reach for higher standards to set the brand apart from the competition by focusing on people (our employees and guests) and excellence in all that we do. So, when we say, “If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t Legal!,” we renew a commitment that has sustained the brand for over a half-century.
We are “fanatics for freshness”®
And quality – so much so, that we have a state-of-the-art food safety laboratory where we test all seafood products prior to guest/consumer consumption.
We look for cold-water fish that is either “top of catch” (hauled onboard just before landing) or caught from day boat operators (fisherman who go to sea for just a single pass before returning to shore).
We impose the very highest standards for quality, sanitation, and safety at every step – from purchase, to processing, to shipping and finally to preparation in our restaurants. This has been part of our DNA for years and will continue with more exacting standards as the brand continues to grow and prosper.