Legal Sea Foods


1950 – 1980 (Inman Sq. location)


237 Hampshire St., Inman Square


Fish market and restaurant




The original "Legal's" thrived here for a generation. This was where locals, including the loyal Julia Child ate clam chowder and steamed lobsters from paper plates atop picnic tables. The business and name truly began back in 1904, when Harry Berkowitz called his adjacent Inman Square store Legal Cash Market because his customers could redeem legal, government-issued cash stamps there. His son later branched out into fish, kept the "legal" name ("If it isn't fresh, it isn't legal"), and now his grandson runs the company. While the quirky neighborhood charm of the original is lost to history via a tragic 1980 fire, Legal Sea Foods now boasts a reputation as a high quality regional chain, serving its reliable ocean fare to tourists and locals alike. Today Rosie's Bakery resides in its spot.

Photo by Rain Robertson