Restaurant Openings

Legal Sea Foods Has a New Home in Chestnut Hill

Just a few doors from the original location at the Street, the new restaurant boasts Hammond Pond views.


Legal Sea Foods relocated to a space at the Street in Chestnut Hill that overlooks Hammond Pond

Legal Sea Foods relocated to a space at the Street in Chestnut Hill that overlooks Hammond Pond. / Carly Gillis Photography

The oldest Legal Sea Foods has served its final meal in its original location. Forty-three years after expanding to Chestnut Hill from a small fish shop in Inman Square, Legal Sea Foods shuttered that space on Monday, May 29, and reopens today in a new location within the Street marketplace.

Though it’s just a quarter-mile from the old restaurant, Legal Sea Foods now has waterfront views. The two-story spot overlooks Hammond Pond, and the second-floor dining room takes advantage with a window wall and a deck, plus a retractable roof over the bar.

The interior design is also inspired by the pond, with serene details like blue and green glazed bricks, wooden sail-shaped ceiling panels, and illuminated white globes. The ground floor is home to a retail seafood shop.

Legal Sea Foods has grown from a Julia Child’s favorite fish market in Cambridge into a couple dozen restaurant and retail locations in seven states. It opened in Chestnut Hill in 1975. It has evolved its very New England menu to adapt to consumers’ taste for seafood, but has otherwise largely remained a family company known for quality. Richard Vellante, now the Seaport-based company’s executive chef and executive vice president, started at the Chestnut Hill Legal more than 20 years ago as a kitchen manager.

The refreshed Chestnut Hill menu has all the Legal standards: oysters on the half-shell, chowder, crab cakes, baked Boston cod, fried clams, steamed lobster, etc. It also has a new, all-day sushi menu, with a variety of fresh maki rolls, tuna, salmon, and eel nigiri, and a 48-piece chef’s selection. The full bar is stocked with fresh juices and a couple exclusive spirits, and dozens of wines by the glass and half-bottle.

Legal Sea Foods reopens today, and will serve lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m.-1 a.m., and Sundays noon-10 p.m.

55 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-277-7300, legalseafoods.com.