By Laura Bly, USA TODAY
A daily customer and unofficial mascot for the Heart Attack Grill,
a Las Vegas diner infamous for its calorie-laden menu and waitresses in
nurse garb, has died of an apparent heart attack, the latest in a
string of incidents that evoke the restaurant's ominous name.
According to the Las Vegas Sun,
52-year-old John Alleman died Monday after collapsing last week as he
waited at a bus stop in front of the Fremont Street restaurant.
he was never on the payroll, Alleman had been a faithful patron since
the restaurant opened in October 2011, owner Jon Basso told the paper.
He inspired a "Patient John" caricature on the Heart Attack Grill's
menu, clothing line and merchandise.
Alleman is the Heart Attack
Grill's second unofficial spokesman to die. In March 2011, 575-pound
Blair River - known as the Grill's "Gentle Giant" - died of flu-related
In February 2012, a man was hospitalized with an
apparent heart problem after chowing down a 6,000-calorie Triple Bypass
Burger. Two months later, a woman suffered from a similar medical
problem while reportedly eating a Double Bypass Burger.
eatery's slogan is "a burger to die for." It gives free meals to people
who weigh more than 350 pounds, and a sign reads "Caution: This
establishment is bad for your health," notes the Associated Press.
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.
After the first incident, the AP
reports, the Washington, D.C.-based Officials for the Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine said they sent a letter to the Heart
Attack Grill's owner, asking him to "declare moral bankruptcy" and close
Although Basso told the Sun that Alleman's death was a "wake-up call," he said it won't stop him from touting such calorific foods.
grill is where you can be yourself. We accept people as they are,"
Basso told the paper. "(Alleman's death) isn't going to stop us from
what we're doing. People have got to live their lives."