I read this headline on Tuesday morning and did a double-take.
The famed “Heart Attack Grill” of Las Vegas lost its biggest fan and unofficial spokesperson when John Alleman suffered a heart attack last week. The 52-year-old burger aficionado was a fixture at the Fremont Street location. Owner Jon Basso said, “He’s the only person I know who was probably at the restaurant more than I [was]; he’d be here every darned day.”
He becomes the second spokesperson of the “Heart Attack Grill” to die in the past two years. It’s a restaurant that celebrates gluttony, offering free meals to people over 350 pounds. The menu is prepared using lard and butter fat. The website includes B-Roll of bacon being cooked and stacks of meat and cheese dubbed “Bypass Burgers.”
Here’s a piece done on the restaurant for ABC News when it was in its original location of Chandler, Arizona, talking about the size of the portions and the health risks. It discusses the first unofficial spokesperson, Blair River, who weighed 570 pounds at the time of his death.
The restaurant has come under fire for its use of a medical theme (hospital gowns for patrons and nurses for waitresses) in the past, and I suspect that it will again following Alleman’s death. Critics point to the glorification of gluttony and the unapologetic message. It fits into a city of vice and personal choice perfectly.
“Super Size Me” by Morgan Spurlock took aim at McDonald’s in 2004. The company increased sales every month until October, 2012.
The company still reported growth overall for 2012.
I understand the vast difference between a single location such as “Heart Attack Grill” and the gigantic structure that is McDonald’s. My point remains the same. Most people mix in a salad now and again, but there’s a reason that burger chains spring up on the radar at every turn. People vote with their cash.