Sunday, February 25, 2024

Wilmington’s K-38 owners to close Cruz, KBueno Norte Cocina restaurants

From Saturday’s post from the Live Eat Surf family of restaurants. (Port City Daily photo / Facebook)

WILMINGTON — The Live Eat Surf company will close its two most recent restaurants, aiming to focus attention on the remaining locations which owners say are “all strong and thriving thanks to the love and support of this community.”

In an emotional post, Cindy Vach spoke about her late husband Josh’s vision, which started when he opened K38 Baja Grill in 1993. Vach noted that even as her husband faced a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy, he continued to develop his restaurant dream. Despite his illness, Vach’s husband opened the upscale CRUZ restaurant on the Wilmington side of the Heidi Trask drawbridge to Wrightsville Beach, and KBueno Norte Cocina in Porters Neck, focused on tacos, Mexican street corn, and other Mexican and low-country dishes.

Josh Vach passed away in May of this year, and was memorialized by foodies and surfers alike.

Vach announced that the Live Eat Surf company had made the difficult decision to close these two latest restaurants to ensure the continued success of the other restaurants.

CRUZ will close after dinner service on Sunday, December 22 and KBueno Norte Cocina will close after dinner service on Monday, December 23.

Vach said the staff from the closing restaurants would continue on at the remaining Live Eat Surf restaurants: K38 on Oleander Drive and the neighoring KBueno Cocina, Tower 7 and the neighboring Cafe Del Mar, KBueno Mexi-Q Grill (formerly Las Olas), and the K38 in Porters Neck.

You can read the complete message below:

Dear Live Eat Surf friends & guests, when my late husband Josh opened K38 Baja Grill in 1993, he had no idea the impact his vision would have on so many people and on this community. When he passed away May 15, I knew I would do my best to make him proud and most importantly – make sure his vision and years of hard work would continue without him.

In order for that to happen, I have had to make some tough decisions, but necessary ones, for the strength of the future of LES. The last 2 locations he opened, CRUZ and KBueno Norte Cocina, he did so while he was ill. Josh never wanted to stop looking forward and was determined to beat the cancer which is why he pushed himself to open the locations. We were actually sitting at Duke waiting for his first round of chemotherapy when we opened the doors to CRUZ for lunch service.

That being said, Josh could never give the last 2 locations the time, energy and focus due to his illness that he gave to all the other locations when they opened. Because of this fact, I have had to make the hard decision to close CRUZ on December 22 after dinner service and KBueno Norte on December 23 after dinner service. I am happy to say, all of the wonderful dedicated staff from CRUZ and Kbueno Norte will continue to be a part of the Live Eat Surf team at one of our other locations.

This decision will ensure that all of our focus and energy will be on the remaining locations which are all strong and thriving thanks to the love and support of this community. Please accept and share this news as what it is – positive and necessary to keep moving forward for years to come. I am forever grateful to God, my team, friends and family who have love and supported me thru these last 7 months – I would have never made it without you.

With love and gratitude for your support,

Cindy Vach and the entire amazing Live Eat Surf family

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