Harnessing inspiration from the roadside fish tacos he found on the Baja Coast during surfing trips, local restaurateur Joshua Vach replicated that experience by building a series of local dining establishments that offered a unique “surf vibe,” including quintessential Wrightsville Beach restaurant Tower 7. Last week, locals remembered the contributions that Vach brought to the community after he died on Wednesday, May 15 at the age of 53.
To remember and honor those contributions of lifelong surfer Vach, friends and loved ones have scheduled a paddle out on Sunday, June 2 at 8:30 a.m. at Wrightsville Beach public access no. 29 at Stone Street.
In addition to the family of eight restaurant locations he opened under the Live Eat Surf brand, Vach was known for his charitable contributions, which included establishing a surf scholarship, as well as giving back to charities that benefited people and animals alike, according to the obituary published by Wilmington Funeral & Cremation.
Building on the experience he gained from the restaurants his parents owned and operated in Ocean City, Md., in 1993, Vach opened his first local restaurant, K38 Baja Grill on Oleander Drive. Building on that success, Vach eventually opened seven more restaurants, including Tower 7 in Wrightsville Beach.
The success of the restaurants provided Vach the opportunity to give back to the community through many charitable endeavors. A 1987 graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he was also a member of the school’s surf club, Vach established a surf scholarship in 2008 that has grown into the Tower 7/WBLivesurf Scholarship, which this year provided funding to more than a dozen students. He would provide free food to the annual Hope from Helen fundraiser. He also established the
Cinco de Bow Wow fundraiser, which benefited local animal welfare organizations that included Paws Place Dog Rescue, Pender County Humane Society, C.A.R.E. – Coastal Animal Rescue Effort, New Hanover County Animal Services Unit, Adopt An Angel and Canines For Service, the obituary said.
For his efforts, Vach was awarded the UNCW Distinguished Citizen of the Year in 2015 and was inducted into Wrightsville Beach Museum of History’s 2014 Waterman Hall of Fame for his contribution to beach culture.
On October 3, 2009, he married Cindy Parcell during a ceremony on Wrightsville Beach.
Vach was preceded in death by his parents, Richard Joseph Vach, and Mary Carroll Vach, his sisters Mary Elizabeth Vach, Carroll Vach England, and by his beloved dog Wyatt. Josh is survived by his wife Cindy and their treasured dog Gunner, his sister Martha Vach Redding, his brothers Richard Joseph (Jr) and Thomas Carville Vach, along with numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, his obituary said.
Contributions in his memory can be made to: Tower 7/WBLiveSurf Scholarship: Hope From Helen P.O.Box 187 Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480. . Email donation questions to Tony Butler – [email protected].