New brewery, barbecue restaurant ready to take over former Rock & Run location

The former Rock & Run entrance now includes a small, glass decal featuring the logo of 3Halves Brewery. The brewery and restaurant is expected to open in July.

LIBERTY — Via Facebook last week, 3Halves Brewing Company introduced the business to the community. Owner John Kennebeck said many people get their updates this way. He is leasing the former Rock & Run building and will be creating his own beers in the 100 block of East Kansas Street in Liberty.

“My background is packaging and food safety,” he said. “We were part of a popcorn business that had a great deal of success so I understand high-quality service and products. I have a passion for top-notch customer service.”

The family business was K&W Popcorn in Trenton.

Kennebeck, whose roots are in Trenton, is just now venturing into the world of brewing. He hopes to officially open the brewery at the end of July.

“It doesn’t matter what I like, but my goal is to provide what others like. I expect pale ales, IPAs, lagers, … there will not be anything off the way. I hope to have four or five good beers that any craft beer drinker will like. I want people to say they have come in for a really solid beer.”

The new brewer said he doesn’t want to overwhelmed by a food menu.

“I want an easy-to-read menu that focuses on quality,” he said.

Some of that quality will come from the hands of John Atwell, the owner of Jousting Pigs. Initially a competition barbecue team, Jousting Pigs decided they wanted to give a home location a try and will take over the former Bell restaurant space. Atwell and his wife, Brandi, have been competing since 2014.

“Once we got into competition and catering,” he said, “the longer-term goal became a nearer-term goal. I realized the risk would be worth it, especially to leave a corporate accounting job.

“We made the deal quickly with John after the first location fell through. The interaction on social media will ramp up and what we have out there has been received well.”

Jousting Pigs, Atwell said, will feature briskets, ribs and some sausages from Upper Cut KC.

“We will have a few in-house sausages too,” he said. “I also expect some lighter bites such as sliders and wings.”

Atwell said he knows there will be a lot of work. He is hoping to do some pop-ups on the patio in June.

Some events will be done amid demolition work in the old building.

“Our goal is to create extremely high-quality beer for every palate,” Kennebeck said. “We will keep it fairly simple and not overwhelm folks. We are giving it a face-lift and aiming to put our stamp on it.”

Kennebeck said that if he needs to supplement his offerings, he plans on bringing in craft beers from other Kansas City breweries.

“We are striving for extreme consistency,” he said. “We are celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit with Jousting Pigs. I know we are all excited and understand the importance of the location and to be part of the community.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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