Heart Attack Grill spokesman dies of apparent heart attack
A regular patron and unofficial spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill has died of an apparent heart attack, the restaurant's owner said on Monday.
John Alleman reportedly suffered a heart attack last week outside the Las Vegas restaurant, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The 52-year-old was taken off life support on Monday.
Alleman, who was not on the restaurant's payroll, inspired the "Patient John" character that appears on the restaurant's menu.
"He lived a very full life," Jon Basso, owner of the Heart Attack Grill, told the newspaper. "He will be missed."
“I told him if you keep eating like this, it’s going to kill ya,” Basso said. “He’d say, 'I just love your place, Jon.' He’s the only person I know who was probably at the restaurant more than I [was]; he’d be here every darned day.”
Alleman is the second unofficial Heart Attack Grill spokesman to die in as many years.
In March 2011, Blair River, the restaurant's 575-pound representative, died from complications stemming from pneumonia. He was 29.
"Cynical people might think this is funny," Basso said at the time of River's death. "But people who knew him are crying their eyes out. There is a lot of mourning going on around here. You couldn't have found a better person."
Founded in 2005, the unapologetically unhealthy restaurant employs waitresses dressed as nurses and serves butterfat milkshakes, "flatliner" fries and 9,982-calorie "quadruple bypass burgers." (Patrons who are able to finish them are escorted to their cars in wheelchairs.) Customers who weigh over 350 pounds eat free.
Since opening in Las Vegas in October 2011, there have been various reports of customers having medical emergencies while dining at the grill.
Last February, a man reportedly suffered a heart attack while eating a “triple bypass burger." According to Las Vegas' Fox 5 affiliate, he survived.