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Heart Attack Grill "Spokesman" and Faithful Customer Dies of Sudden Heart Attack

Update Date: Feb 12, 2013 12:17 PM EST
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The notoriously unhealthy Las Vegas-based Heart Attack Grill claims yet another victim, but this time the restaurant loses its long time customer and "unofficial spokesman" John Alleman to an apparent heart attack.

Alleman didn't actually work for Heart Attack Grill, but for the last years and a half, the 52-year-old would stand outside the infamous fast food joint, encouraging people in from the street and talking to customers. Allenman's caricature even appears on the Heart Attack Grill's menu and clothing line.

While restaurant owner John Basso didn't pay Alleman for this, he would from time to time give Alleman some free food.

"I told him I couldn't hire him, but I can throw you a free drink and burger once in a while," Basso told the Las Vegas Sun.  He said that Alleman loved the food.

"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; he'd be here every darned day," Basso added.

The Heart Attack Grill is known for its "Bypass" burgers, "Flatliner" fries and free meals for people who weigh over 350 pounds. The notorious eatery's "Triple Bypass burger" is estimated to contain about 6,000 calories and its 9,982-calorie, three-pound, quadruple bypass burger hold the Guinness World Record for the world's "most calorific burger". 

Basso said that Alleman never missed a day, and was there faithfully in front of the restaurant even on Christmas.

In fact, Alleman's heart attack struck last week as he was waiting for the bus just outside the restaurant.  The 52-year-old who loved fatty food was taken off life support on Monday.

While Basso called the death of his restaurant's unofficial spokesman a "wake-up call," he said that he has no plans to change his menu.

Alleman is not the restaurant's first customer to suffer a heart attack, nor is he the first unofficial spokesman to die a premature death. In 2011, Heart Attack Grill spokesman Blair River died at 29-years-old from pneumonia at 575 pounds. In 2012, a customer suffered a heart attack while a "Triple Bypass Burger" and had to be wheeled out by paramedics on a stretcher.  Just two months after that incident, a female customer had collapsed at the restaurant while eating a "Double Bypass" burger.

In 2012, Basso told Eater Vegas that his burger concept is "absolutely honest" and recommends that people refrain from going to his restaurant more than once a month.

"I don't tell anyone to come to the Heart Attack Grill more often than once a month. I say it right in the door, 'Caution this establishment is bad for your health,'" he said according to Eater Vegas.

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