River Roast housed a wholesale grocer and humidor
This riverfront temple to all things roasted sits inside the historic, sprawling Reid Murdoch Building. Commissioned by George Simmons, it was built in 1914 for Reid Murdoch & Co., one of the country’s largest wholesale grocers. It housed corporate offices and warehouse space, with several floors dedicated to manufacturing and processing cheeses, coffee, ketchup, sugar, fish, bread, and pickles, plus a humidor where tobacco was rolled for cigars.
The riverfront location enabled shipping through a supply chain that connected steamers on the south side to railroad spurs on the north side. Beneath LaSalle St, the building’s shipping platform was used to load trucks that delivered to merchants all over the city. It also connected with the city’s Downtown freight tunnel system. The City acquired the building in the 1950s, where it housed the traffic court, the State's Attorney’s office and other municipal offices until Friedman Properties bought it in 1998.