“Heart Attack Grill” Claims Another

"Heart Attack Grill" Claims AnotherOpening in October 2011, the “Heart Attack Grill” became famous because of its ‘infamous’ type of cuisine.  Every item served is high and calories and high in fat and cholesterol.  And owner John Basso is proud of it.

Located at the “Neonopolis” in downtown Las Vegas, it has become somewhat of a tourist attraction, but there are plenty of ‘regulars’.  One of those regulars, and an unofficial spokesman for the eatery, died last week after suffering a heart attack while waiting for the bus inside the Neonopolis, at the corner of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard.  Attempts were made to resuscitate him, but they failed.

John Alleman, 52, stood outside the Grill encouraging potential customers to go inside.  He was from Pennsylvania, and owner Basso said both of Alleman’s parents died from heart attacks in their 50’s.

When Alleman wasn’t working his regular job as a security guard at an abandoned high rise on the strip, he would be at the grill.  He never missed a day including Christmas.  Basso described him as ‘fun loving’ and an all-around good guy who enjoyed talking to the customers.  He ‘worked’ for free so once in a while Basso would offer him a free meal.  Alleman always declined.

Did I say there was plenty of fat on the menu?  The medically themed restaurant is famous for its high-fat menu that includes a record-breaking 9,982-calorie, 3-pound Quadruple Bypass Burger. The grill’s slogan is “Taste worth dying for.”

Alleman is the second unofficial spokesman to die in the restaurant’s nearly two-year history in Las Vegas. In March 2011, Blair River, known as the Grill’s “Gentle Giant”, died of flu-related pneumonia, Basso said at the time. The 575-pound spokesman was just 29 years old.  Alleman weighed only 180 pounds.

In February 2012, a man was stricken with a heart attack while eating a Triple Bypass Burger.  Two months later, a woman was similarly stricken while eating a Double Bypass Burger.  It is unclear if their situations were related to the food.

In defense of his restaurant, Basso said:  “Heart attacks aren’t a laughing matter,” he said. “You don’t have to be tremendously old or fat. You can be in your 30s and 40s and die of a heart attack.”

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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