Entries in Heart Attack Grill (4)


Another Customer Hospitalized After Eating at Heart Attack Grill

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) -- For the second time this year, a customer at Las Vegas' Heart Attack Grill was sent to the hospital after possibly suffering from a heart attack, ABC News affiliate KTNV reports.

The latest incident happened last Saturday while a female customer was eating a hamburger, according to Jon Basso, the restaurant’s owner.  The woman, who has not been identified, was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to fully recover, Basso said.

Heart Attack Grill, whose slogan is “Taste worth dying for,” is known for its self-proclaimed unhealthy food.  A sign on the front door reads, “Caution: This Establishment Is Bad for Your Health.”

The chain's hamburgers are known as "Bypass Burgers" and come in four sizes: single, double, triple and quadruple.

A man suffered an apparent heart attack in February while eating a “Triple Bypass Burger” at the restaurant.

The woman who fell ill on Saturday was eating a "Double Bypass Burger" before she had to be hospitalized, Basso said.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Suffers Heart Attack at 'Heart Attack Grill'

Hemera/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) -- A man suffered an apparent heart attack while eating a “Triple Bypass Burger” at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas.

The man, whose identity has not been released, was eating by himself when he began complaining of chest pains, started sweating and stuttering his words, said Jon Basso, the restaurant’s owner.

“I was in the back cooking and the nurses came back and said ‘someone is having a heart attack,’” Basso recalled.

At first Basso didn’t believe it because in the hospital-themed restaurant -- where wait staff wear sexy nurse's uniforms and the diners are outfitted with hospital gowns -- the employees and customers sometimes role play.

“No, he’s really having an f-ing heart attack,” one of the employees reportedly told Basso.

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Basso, who goes by the name “Dr. Jon” in the restaurant, and who plays the role in a white doctor’s coat and stethoscope, called an ambulance and paramedics were quickly on hand to treat the man, who Basso described as a normal, “run-of-the-mill” guy in his 40′s.

The customer was reportedly recovering in a nearby Las Vegas hospital after the attack, said Basso, who is not a doctor.

The burger joint, whose slogan is “taste…worth dying for,” is known for its self-proclaimed unhealthy food. A sign on the front door reads, “Caution: This Establishment is Bad for Your Health.”

The Heart Attack Grill came under fire last year when its spokesman, 6’8″, 570-pound, Blair River died last year of pneumonia at age 29.  It was not possible to say what role River’s weight played in his death.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Restaurant Serves Up 8,000 Calorie Burger

Hemera/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) -- If you’re going to laugh in the face of obesity by opening a restaurant that serves an 8,000-calorie burger, you might as well open it in Sin City.

And that’s just what Heart Attack Grill owner Jon Basso is doing. On Wednesday, Basso will open the doors to his third Heart Attack Grill location, this time in Las Vegas.

The restaurant offers a Quadruple Bypass Burger that contains four beef patties, cheese, bacon and reportedly, about 8,000 calories. Along with its staple sandwich, the menu offers a milkshake with the world’s “highest butterfat content” (garnished with a tab of butter) and flatliner fries that are deep fried in lard. People who weigh more than 350 pounds eat at the restaurant for free.

The Heart Attack Grill did not immediately return requests for comment.

"[This is an] amazing marketing concept, but unfortunate that eating extremes are a part of that concept,” said Connie Diekman, director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. "I hate to see a restaurant provide food choices that are so contrary to current dietary guidelines, but people do have a choice and they can choose not to go there.”

Upon walking into the restaurants, customers are required to wear hospital gowns. Waitresses dressed as nurses serve the outlandish food, and Basso himself, who prefers to go by Dr. Jon, wears a doctor costume.

The restaurant’s slogan? “A Taste Worth Dying For.”

“This is like physical comedy and spoof, which dives so far into what makes us uncomfortable that suddenly it’s funny,” said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Center. “But unfortunately, the ‘let’s laugh at fate’ [attitude] can turn very ugly when fate gets the upper hand.”

Sadly enough, fate did get the upper hand when Blair River, a Heart Attack Grill spokesman, died after coming down with the flu earlier this year. He was 29 and weighed 575 pounds.

But that doesn’t stop the infamous restaurant’s marketing tactics.

“We would not find it cute if a particular bar catered to alcoholics and gave them gallon-size drinks to guarantee that everyone would fall down drunk,” said  Katz.  ”We would not find it cute if a facility opened for bulimics that included a public vomitorium. We know that some behaviors are harmful, and the right approach is to help people over them, not pretend they are OK.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Heart Attack Grill' Spokesman Dies at 29

ABC News/HeartAttackGrill [dot] com(PHOENIX) -- Blair River, the 575-pound spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill, an Arizona restaurant that serves shamelessly high-calorie burgers and fries, died Tuesday at the age of 29, following a bout of the flu.

At 6 feet 8 inches tall, River garnered celebrity as the grill's "Gentle Giant" when he became the face and advertising star of the medically themed restaurant -- famous for its triple-bypass burgers, flatliner lard fries and server "nurses" donning uniforms fit for adult films.

River came down with the flu last week, and after four days in the hospital, he succumbed to pneumonia, says Jon Rosso, owner of the grill and close friend of River. Rosso described River's death as "tragic," because he was a "young creative genius, a promising man whose life got cut short because he carried extra weight. Had he been thin, he would have had a tenfold opportunity to survive the pneumonia."

Though Rosso goes by "Dr. Jon," in line with the restaurant's medical theme, he is not medically trained and so can't speak to the role obesity might have played in River's illness. The official cause of death for the hamburger model is still unknown.

"Obesity increases your risk for just about every condition, and it can make nearly every acute health problem worse," says Keith Ayoob, director of the nutrition clinic at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

Those who are morbidly obese have an increased risk for sudden cardiac death and heart attacks at a younger age, says Dr. Carl Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute. "All of this could be worsened with a flu or other respiratory illness.

And research during the H1N1 swine flue epidemic of 2009 suggested that extreme obesity did complicate recovery in flu patients. One study, published in the journal PloS One, found that among those requiring inpatient care for the flu, those with a body mass index of 40 or higher were almost three times more likely to die than those of normal body mass index.

It is impossible to say whether River's weight was a factor in his death from pneumonia, but Ayoob says that it's a matter of adjusting the risk when dealing with obese patients.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

ABC News Radio