Heart Attack Grill Megafan Dies of ... Heart Attack

Restaurant owner shaken, but will not change high-calorie menu

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 12, 2013 10:14 AM CST

(Newser) – The Heart Attack Grill's owner has no plans to change his menu, even in the face of the death of a man the Las Vegas Sun is calling the restaurant's "unofficial spokesman"—to an apparent heart attack. John Alleman, 52, didn't actually work for the infamous Vegas eatery, but he was a fixture at the restaurant, which opened in October 2011, coaxing people in from the street and talking to customers. His caricature even appears on the restaurant's menu and clothing line.

"He never missed a day, even on Christmas," says owner Jon Basso. In fact, the heart attack struck last week as Alleman waited for the bus just outside the restaurant; he was taken off life support yesterday. Basso called Alleman's death a "wake-up call," but says he will continue to serve such fare as the 9,982-calorie three-pound Quadruple Bypass Burger. Alleman is not the first customer to suffer a heart attack, nor is he the first unofficial spokesman to die prematurely, following Blair River's death by flu in 2011. The Sun notes that Alleman had a genetic predisposition for cardiac issues, and lost both parents to heart attacks.

Pedestrians pass by the Heart Attack Grill on Fremont Street, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in Las Vegas. Another unofficial spokesman for the big-portioned restaurant died yesterday.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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