Heart Attack Grill

Marketing Mexican Coke The Arizona Republic
Heart Attack Grill
Limited liability company
IndustryFull service cafe
Founded2005; 15 years ago (2005) in Tempe, Arizona
FounderJon Basso
HeadquartersLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Number of locations
Area served
Las Vegas, Nevada
OwnerJon Basso

The Heart Attack Grill is an American hamburger restaurant in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada (formerly located in Chandler, Arizona). It makes a point of serving food that is very high in fat, sugar, and cholesterol; in other words, food that, if eaten regularly, could cause a heart attack, hence the name.

Theme and menu

The establishment is a hospital theme restaurant: waitresses ("nurses") and waiters ("doctors") take orders ("prescriptions") from the customers ("patients"). Each patient dons a hospital gown and wrist band before ordering and those who do not finish their meal receive a paddling by one of the "nurses" with the option to buy the paddle afterwards.

The menu is generally themed around items that are exceptionally high in calories and fat.[1] It includes "Single", "Double", "Triple", "Quadruple", all the way up to "Octuple Bypass" hamburgers,[2] ranging from 8 to 32 ounces (230 to 910 g) of beef (up to about 8,000 calories (33,000 kJ)), all-you-can-eat "Flatliner Fries" (cooked in pure lard), beer and tequila, "butterfat milkshakes," and soft drinks such as Mexican-bottled Coca-Cola made with cane sugar.[1] Customers can also order cigarettes, or candy cigarettes for children.[3]

Customers over 350 lb (160 kg) in weight eat for free if they weigh in with a nurse waitress before eating. Beverages and to-go orders are excluded and sharing food is also not allowed for the free food deal.[4]

One of the restaurant's promotions is a reward for customers who finish a Triple or Quadruple Bypass Burger, after which they are placed on a wheelchair and wheeled out to their vehicle by their "personal nurse".[5]


The Heart Attack Grill was founded in 2005 in Tempe, Arizona, by Jon Basso, with the declared intent of serving "nutritional pornography,"[6] food "so bad for you it's shocking."[7] The idea came when writing a marketing thesis about fitness training studios, as he became inspired by stories about his clients cheating on their diets.

The Arizona location closed on May 31, 2011,[8] with a Heart Attack Grill opening in Dallas, Texas earlier that month.[9] The Dallas restaurant closed in October 2011 due to non-payment of rent,[10] and the restaurant's official website was scrubbed of any Dallas location information.[11]

The Las Vegas location opened in October 2011.[12]

Illnesses and deaths

The restaurant's spokesman, 575-pound (261 kg) Blair River, died on March 1, 2011, aged 29, from complications of pneumonia.[13] The Arizona location closed shortly thereafter, on May 31, 2011.[8]

On February 11, 2012, a customer suffered what was reported to be an apparent heart attack while eating a "Triple Bypass Burger" at the restaurant.[14] Restaurant owner Jon Basso called 9-1-1 and the customer was taken to the hospital.[15][16] Reportedly patrons thought it was a stunt and started taking photos. Basso later said, "I actually felt horrible for the gentleman because the tourists were taking photos of him as if it were some type of stunt. Even with our own morbid sense of humor, we would never pull a stunt like that."[14]

On April 21, 2012, a woman fell unconscious while eating a Double Bypass Burger, drinking alcohol, and smoking.[17][18]

In February 2013, an unofficial spokesman and daily patron, 52-year-old John Alleman, died of an apparent heart attack while waiting at a bus stop in front of the restaurant.[17]

Double Bypass Burger & Flatliner Fries with a bottle of Mexican Coke


Heart Attack Grill has deliberately courted controversy as a marketing strategy.[1] The restaurant has been criticized and drawn complaints for its breastaurant-style portrayal of nurses.[19]

The Quadruple Bypass Burger with 9,982 calories (41,760 kJ) consists of four half-pound beef patties, twenty strips of bacon, eight slices of American cheese, a whole tomato and half an onion served in a bun coated with lard.[20][21]

The restaurant was featured on an episode of Extreme Pig-outs on the Travel Channel, All You Can Eat on The History Channel,[1] World's Weirdest Restaurants on Food Network Canada, ABC News,[22] on a CBS report with Bill Geist,[23] on Khawatir 10 on MBC,[24] on 7 Deadly Sins on Showtime,[25] on the pilot episode on Fluffy Breaks Even and The Kyle Files.[26]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Edelhauser, Kristin. "Heart Attack Grill-an anti-marketing strategy that works". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  2. ^ Lee, Robyn. "Heart Attack Grill Is Up Front About Slowly Killing You | A Hamburger Today". Aht.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  3. ^ Martin, Bradley (February 20, 2017). "A Quick Demise for the Heart Attack Grill on the Strip". Eater Las Vegas.
  4. ^ "Heart Attack Grill". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  5. ^ Briggs, Bill. "Heart Attack Grill serves bypass burgers, flatliner fries". msn.com. Archived from the original on 2010-11-11.
  6. ^ "Heart Attack Grill Turns Bad Press Into Big Business | Wall Street Fighter". Wallstreetfighter.com. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  7. ^ "Heart Attack Grill". Popgive.com. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  8. ^ a b Jensen, Edythe (June 1, 2011), "Chandler Heart Attack Grill Closes", The Arizona Republic
  9. ^ Wolke, Alice (May 13, 2011), Protest Greets 'Heart Attack Grill' Opening in Dallas, myfoxdfw.com, archived from the original on August 21, 2011
  10. ^ "Is Heart Attack Grill in cardiac arrest?". Dallasnews.com. October 13, 2011. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  11. ^ "Heart Attack Grill Continues Death Spasms". Dallasobserver.com. October 14, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  12. ^ "Owner of Heart Attack Grill, opening in Las Vegas, insists he helps people eat better". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  13. ^ Johnson, Weldon B. (March 3, 2011), "575-pound Heart Attack Grill spokesman dies", The Arizona Republic, Gannett, OCLC 61312426, retrieved March 4, 2011
  14. ^ a b DeLucia, Matt (February 15, 2012). "Man suffers heart attack while dining at Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas". Fox 5 Vegas. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  15. ^ Jaslow, Ryan (February 15, 2012). "Man suffers heart attack at Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas: Report". CBS News. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  16. ^ "Man suffers heart attack at Heart Attack Grill - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU". FOX5 Vegas. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  17. ^ a b Paul Takahashi (February 11, 2013). "Heart Attack Grill spokesman dies from heart attack". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  18. ^ AP (April 23, 2012). "2nd patron falls ill at hospital-themed restaurant". Associated Press. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  19. ^ "Waitresses Dressed as Nurses Rile Real RNs". FoxNews.com. December 9, 2006. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  20. ^ Fowle, Zach (31 August 2010). "Heart Attack Grill's Quadruple Bypass Burger Challenge". phoenixnewtimes.com.
  21. ^ "Heart Attack Grill, Where a Burger is 8,000 Calories and the Fries are Cooked in Lard". friendseat.com.
  22. ^ Nightline from ABC News: The Heart Attack Grill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqf_SIQ3JAk
  23. ^ CBS. November 25, 2008. A Meal To Die For on YouTube.
  24. ^ "خواطر 10 - الحلقة 7 - الأكل المزيف - YouTube". Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  25. ^ Maharana, Kabita (14 August 2014). "Heart Attack Grill on Showtime's 7 Deadly Sins: Restaurant Owner 'Not Guilty' of Employee Deaths, Says Sacrifices Have to be Made". ibtimes.co.uk.
  26. ^ "The Kyle Files Episode 1". "ITV Press Centre". Retrieved 2017-02-28.