Triple Bypass burger at Heart Attack Grill. Photo: Ken Epstien
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, 260kg 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 restaurant - was taken off life support earlier this 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 grill's menu and merchandise.
Unlike his predecessor as the eatery's unofficial mascot, Alleman was a relatively trim 81kg - 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.
River, the restaurant's the first unofficial spokesman died of flu-related pneumonia, at the age of 29.
The Sun wrote that other regular customers also have been stricken with health related ailments, including cardiac complaints, although it is impossible to know whether their patronage at the restaurant played a direct role.
Basso said Alleman's death was a "wake-up call," but that he would not stop serving Flatliner Fries and their famous Quadruple Bypass Burger - billed as the world's "most calorific" at 9,982-calories - as long as there is a public appetite for them.
The Sun reported that both of Alleman's parents died of heart attacks in their 50s. Despite that medical history, Alleman was a devoted patron, Basso said.
"He never missed a day, even on Christmas," he said.