Heart Attack Grill claims new victim

AFP-JIJI

The Heart Attack Grill, the Las Vegas restaurant whose slogan proudly boasts that its artery-clogging fare is “worth dying for,” appears to have claimed another victim.

Less than two years after its unofficial spokesman, 260-kg Blair River, died of health-related causes, another loyal customer succumbed to a heart attack while standing at a bus stop in front of the establishment.

John Alleman, 52, who like River served as a public face of the grill, was taken off life support last week, three days after suffering his heart attack, according to the Las Vegas Sun newspaper. Alleman, who worked as a security guard, was the inspiration for the “Patient John” caricature that adorns the restaurant’s menu and merchandise.

Unlike his predecessor as the eatery’s unofficial mascot, Alleman was a relatively trim 82 kg — proof, said the restaurant’s owner, that heart attacks can happen to anyone.

“You don’t have to be tremendously old or fat. You can be in your 30s and 40s and die of a heart attack,” said Jon Basso, proprietor of the grill.

The Sun wrote that other regular customers have also been stricken with an assortment of ailments, including cardiac complaints, although it is impossible to know if their patronage at the restaurant played a direct role.

Basso said Alleman’s death was a “wakeup call,” but that he would not stop serving Flatliner Fries and the grill’s famous Quadruple Bypass Burger — billed as the world’s “most calorific” at a staggering 9,982 calories — as long as there is a public appetite for them.

The newspaper reported that both of Alleman’s parents died of heart attacks in their 50s. Despite that medical history, Alleman was a devoted patron, according to Basso. “He never missed a day — even on Christmas,” he said.