A Las Vegas man who was the unofficial spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill, a medically themed restaurant that embraces monstrous hamburgers, died Monday after suffering a massive heart attack.
John Alleman, 52, who had come to the restaurant to eat every day, was on life support at the Las Vegas Sunrise Hospital after he had a "massive" coronary at a bus stop last week. He was taken off life support Monday.
Heart Attack Grill owner Jon Basso, who was in Alleman's hospital room when he died, told ABC News that Alleman said both his parents had died in their 50s of heart attacks.
Basso said Alleman, who worked the graveyard shift as a night watchman for a nearby skyscraper under construction, had been coming in every day for the past year and a half. He would order a "Single Bypass Burger," fries and a drink, usually staying up to six hours. Even though Alleman was never on the restaurant payroll, he came so often that Basso put his caricature on their menus and merchandise.
Basso goes by "Doctor Jon," but he is not a real doctor. Waitresses are "nurses" and orders are called "prescriptions." Customers, who have to don a hospital gown when they walk in the door, are called "patients." Those who weigh more than 350 pounds eat for free but only after they get up on a scale in front of the whole restaurant for a pre-meal weigh-in.
"I absolutely think the food I'm serving is unsafe," Basso said. "The only way what I'm doing would be immoral would be if I were to market it as healthy by throwing a cute little side salad on the menu. ... The Heart Attack Grill is the most moral restaurant on the planet Earth because we are absolutely here to make a statement about obesity, about coronary issues, about death and dying and all those things that are prevalent in the society."
The 8,000-calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger, with four half-pound beef patties, eight slices of American cheese, a whole tomato and half an onion served in a lard-coated bun, has been called one of the "world's worst junk foods." Other menu items include butterfat milkshakes and "flatliner fries" cooked in lard.