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article imageHeart Attack Grill 'spokesman' John Alleman dies of heart attack

By JohnThomas Didymus     Feb 13, 2013 in Food
Las Vegas - The unofficial spokesman and mascot for the notorious Las Vegas restaurant Heart Attack Grill, has died of a heart attack. John Alleman, 52, was reportedly waiting for a bus in front of the restaurant when he suffered a "massive heart attack."
The Las Vegas Sun reports John Alleman suffered a heart attack last week while he stood at the bus stop in front of the restaurant at the Neonopolis, Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard.
According to the NY Post, the restaurant's's owner Jon Basso, said Alleman was removed from life support at about 1 p.m. on Monday afternoon. He was kept on life support for nearly a week after he suffered a heart attack. His family decided to take him off life support on Monday, the Las Vegas Sun reports.
Basso described Alleman as a fun-loving man who was a regular and dedicated customer of the Heart Attack Grill. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Basso said John had been a regular customer at the restaurant since it opened in October 2011. When he was not at his job as a security officer at an abandoned high-rise building, he would be at the grill, chatting with customers while eating a burger. He was so regular at the restaurant that he inspired a "Patient John" caricature that appeared on the restaurant's official clothing, menu and merchandise, although he was never on the restaurant's payroll.
Alleman would often stand outside the restaurant's doors encouraging people to come in for a burger. Basso said he would sometimes offer Alleman a free meal or a drink but he always declined. He said: "He never wanted a handout from anyone. He always insisted on paying. He lived, ate and breathed the Heart Attack Grill."
The Las Vegas Sun reports that Basso, who seemed shaken when he spoke on phone Monday evening, said: "He lived a very full life. He will be missed.He never missed a day, even on Christmas."
Allen was not the first unofficial mascot for the Heart Attack Grill to die suddenly and prematurely, the NY Post reports. Blair "Gentle Giant" River, a 575-pound fan of the Heart Attack Grill died of flu-related pneumonia in 2011.
The negatively, medically themed restaurant, known for its slogans such as "Taste Worth Dying For" and "A Burger To Die For," is famous for its super high-calorie menu that reportedly includes a record-breaking 9,982-calorie 3-pound Quadruple Bypass Burger, sexy nurses the prescribe "diet programs" which include, beside the 3-pound Quadruple Bypass Burger, Double Bypass Burger, Flatliner Fries, Full Sugar Coke, Butter Fat Shake and no filter cigarettes, with the proprietor "Doctor" Jon Basso and sexy waitress-nurses attending to customers referred to as "patients."
USA Today reports that the restaurant gives free meals to people weighing more than 350 pounds, and has a sign that reads "Caution: This establishment is bad for your health."
The restaurant's monster 8,000-calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger, according to USA Today, includes "four half-pound beef patties, eight slices of American cheese, a whole tomato and half an onion served in a lard-coated bun." The restaurant also serves butterfat milkshakes and "flatliner fries" cooked in lard.
The establishment acquired such notoriety that officials for the Washington D.C.-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine sent a letter to the proprietor Basso, urging him to "declare moral bankrupt" and close the restaurant.
In what many observers see as the Heart Attack Grill living up to its reputation as a place for a deadly meal, a man suffered what was believed to be a heart attack while eating a Triple Bypass Burger at the restaurant in February 2012. According to the NY Post, at first, customers took pictures of the man as he suffered a heart attack, laughing and joking under the mistaken impression that it was a publicity stunt arranged by the restaurant.
Two months later, a woman suffered what was similarly believed a heart attack while she ate a Double Bypass Burger.
Basso's reaction to the tragic incident was somewhat confused. He said that Alleman's modest 180 pounds shows that heart attacks could happen to anyone. He said: "Heart attacks aren't a laughing matter. You don't have to be tremendously old or fat. You can be in your 30s and 40s and die of a heart attack."
Although, he described Alleman's sudden death as a "wake-up call," he vowed not to stop serving his heart attack menus, saying the restaurant would use another unofficial mascot as soon as they find another dedicated customer like Alleman and Blair River.
He said: "The grill is where you can be yourself. We accept people as they are. (Alleman's death) isn't going to stop us from what we're doing. People have got to live their lives."
Alleman is a native of Pennsylvania. His brother Paul is his only family. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Basso reportedly said that Alleman had a "genetic predisposition for cardiac problems, as both of his parents died of heart attacks in their 50s."
Basso said that to honor Alleman, the restaurant will close on the day of his funeral.
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