January 16th, 2020

Legal Harborside Project Update

It’s been eight years since the significant project construction was completed to open this eating and drinking establishment on the Boston waterfront. We first described the project in our online gallery shortly after the restaurant opened. Now it’s time for an update.

Our retractable roof (Libart SolaGlide) on the third floor deck continues to be a wow factor for customers. (Just read the reviews below.) The restaurant is actually three restaurants in one, with different offerings on each floor.

SolaGlide Longevity


SolaGlide has held up nicely to harsh Boston winters. The motorized operation has continued to perform well in these intervening years. The longevity of SolaGlide is partially attributed to the weather sealing of critical components. The hidden drive mechanism and automatic tensioning system provide protection from the elements and eliminate high-maintenance items such as chains or cables.

Factory life cycle testing of SolaGlide has already exceeded 25,000 cycles. That equates to close to 10 years of actual operation with no motor-related issues. Of course, the practical use in Boston is more revealing.




SolaGlide At Harborside

At Legal Harborside, the rooftop deck opens daily at noon. Opening the retractable roof can happen anytime thereafter but it is always a crowd-pleasing experience. And it isn’t limited to the warmer months of the year. After all, the deck features heaters built into the roof framing. And there’s a fireplace to add both warmth and atmosphere. 

Of course, when the weather turns foul, the open-air rooftop deck is still useable thanks to the protection afforded by the SolaGlide system. This means that the restaurant can continue to enjoy the revenue of this popular gathering spot. In fact, Improper Bostonian magazine named it the 2016 winner for “Singles Scene—Over 30.”


In announcing this award, the magazine said: “Few could have expected that this cruise ship-sized spinoff from the surf-and-turf slinging Legal Sea Foods family would somehow wind up a hot, happening meat market. But we’re not complaining. If oysters aren’t your aphrodisiac, harbor views from a four-season roof deck with retractable roof, boozy “adult slushies” spiked with tequila and attractive after-work crowds baited by all of the above will probably do the trick.” 

Legal HarborsideJustin Lisonbee, is Director of Operations for Legal Seafoods and former Executive General Manager at Legal Harborside. He says: “We obviously get some return business based on our menu and service. But I also know that some return just for the experience of our rooftop deck and the retractable skylights are a big part of that experience.”

Improper Bostonian, 2012
“In the summer months, there’s nowhere better to be than the roof deck, complete with impressive water views and glistening pitchers of Seaport Spritzer. Surprise, surprise, there’s nowhere better to be on New Year’s, either – thanks to the state-of-the-art retractable roof.”

Improper Bostonian, 2015
“We didn’t see it coming. Legal Sea Foods was always a reliable restaurant brand, but nobody imagined it could cultivate a seriously hopping social scene. Then came this three-floor titan of the Seaport, the first in a series of one-off Legal concepts. They built it, and we came to wine and dine on an amazing sun-soaked rooftop (with a retractable ceiling for drizzly days) that affords Boston’s best ocean views – bait no one could expect or resist.”

Jake G.
Yelp, 8/8/2012
Incredible rooftop bar with the best view of Boston Harbor I’ve ever seen. On a sunny summer afternoon, the floor-to-ceiling glass walls and ceiling of the huge bar space retract to provide long panoramic sight lines and the experience of looming above Boston Harbor.

Patrick M.
Yelp, 8/28/2012
Great view, fun crowd & the rooftop bar with retractable roof is very cool. Food was good. Busy, busy place. $16 to valet with validation.

Michael C.
Yelp, 7/5/2011
Floor 3: This is the fun floor. Retractable roof, good bar/lounge set up, a good crowd, and good music. This is a perfect spot for a summer day. Really amazing views of Boston!

Kerry H.
Yelp, 2/25/2012
The third floor is very cool! The third floor is a bar area with sushi and a limited menu. It is set up with couches and high top tables. There is a copper fireplace adding to the ambiance. The best part is the roof is retractable! I can’t wait to return in the summer . . .

Project Details: (Legal Seafood

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