Born and raised in Rockford, Ill., Wrigley BBQ Owner and Pittmaster Mitch Liebovich has always had a passion for barbecue, having made his first brisket at age three (in an oven, not a smoker). As a child, Liebovich drew inspiration from his mother and grandmother’s family recipes, spending his formative years perfecting various rubs and smoking techniques. Eventually convincing his parents to purchase a smoker for the family lake house, he began full heartedly pursuing his penchant for barbecue during his collegiate years at Syracuse University in New York.
Referring to the original Dinosaur Barb-B-Que in Syracuse as the origin of his unwavering infatuation with the world of brisket and pulled pork, Liebovich could never get enough of the restaurant’s laid-back, biker-themed atmosphere perfected with unparalleled food. His experiences there and around the country would inspire him to put his career as a Creative Director aside to pursue his inherent passion for BBQ, ultimately opening his first restaurant, Smoq Pitt, in the Brookline neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA in 2014. After two years of manning the helm in “Steel City,” Liebovich returned to his home in Illinois to take over the smoker at Wrigley BBQ, restoring barbecue’s authenticity in the urban setting of Chicago.
“I love barbecue’s ability to bring people together and make them smile,” said Liebovich. “I’ve realized that when you’re passionate about what you do, it no longer seems like work.”
When he’s not smoking up brisket, pulled pork, and other Wrigley BBQ favorites, Liebovich can be found hitting the golf course and spending time outdoors with his friends and family.