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Heart Attack Grill

Coordinates: 33°18′19″N 111°56′53″W / 33.305183°N 111.947991°W / 33.305183; -111.947991
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Heart Attack Grill
Company typeLimited liability company
IndustryFull service cafe
Founded2005; 19 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 restaurant in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. It was formerly located in Chandler, Arizona. The restaurant serves deliberately unhealthy junk food that is high in fat, sugar and cholesterol, which if eaten frequently, may increase the chance of a heart attack, hence the name.[citation needed]


Heart Attack Grill waitress wearing uniform (2009)

The establishment is a hospital-theme restaurant: "nurses" (waitresses) and "doctors" (waiters) give "prescriptions" (take orders) from the "patients" (customers). Each patient dons a hospital gown and wristband before ordering, and those who do not finish their food will receive a paddle-spanking by one of the "nurses" with the option to buy the paddle afterwards.[1][2]

The menu is generally themed around items that are exceptionally high in calories and fat.[3] It includes "Single", "Double", "Triple", "Quadruple", "Quintuple", "Sextuple", "Septuple" and "Octuple Bypass" hamburgers,[4] ranging from 8 to 64 ounces (230 to 1,810 g) of beef with the "Octuple Bypass" burger containing approximately 19,900 kilocalories or 832,000 kilojoules;[5] 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.[3] Customers can also order unfiltered cigarettes or candy cigarettes for children.[6]

Customers over 350 lb (160 kg) in weight can eat at the restaurant for free.[7] One of the restaurant's promotions is a reward for customers who finish a Triple- or Quadruple Bypass Burger, after which they are placed in a wheelchair and wheeled out to their vehicle by their "personal nurse".[8]


The Heart Attack Grill was founded in 2005 in Tempe, Arizona, by Jon Basso, with the declared intent of serving "nutritional pornography",[9] food "so bad for you it's shocking".[10] 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,[11] with a Heart Attack Grill opening in Dallas, Texas, earlier that month.[12] The Dallas restaurant closed in October 2011 due to non-payment of rent,[13] and the restaurant's official website was scrubbed of any Dallas location information.[14]

The Las Vegas location opened in October 2011,[15] and is legally owned by Jon Basso's LLC, ironically named Diet Center LLC.[16] The restaurant's slogan is "Fighting anorexia since 2005".

On February 18, 2012, a D.C. group requested the owner of Heart Attack Grill declare "moral bankruptcy" and close the Las Vegas restaurant. However, the owner did not close and instead defended his restaurant.[17]

Illnesses and deaths[edit]

The restaurant's spokesman, 575-pound (261 kg) Blair River, died on March 1, 2011, aged 29, from complications of pneumonia.[18] The Arizona location closed shortly thereafter, on May 31, 2011.[11]

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.[19] Restaurant owner Jon Basso called for emergency services and the customer was taken to the hospital.[20][21] Reportedly patrons thought it was a publicity 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."[19]

On April 21, 2012, a woman fell unconscious while eating a Double Bypass Burger, drinking alcohol and smoking.[22][23]

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.[22]

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


Heart Attack Grill has deliberately courted controversy as a marketing strategy.[3] The restaurant has been criticized and drawn complaints for its revealing uniforms and sexualized portrayal of nurses.[24][25]

In television[edit]

The restaurant was featured on an episode of Extreme Pig-outs on the Travel Channel, All You Can Eat on The History Channel,[3] World's Weirdest Restaurants on Food Network Canada, ABC News,[26] on a CBS report with Bill Geist,[27] on Khawatir 10 on MBC,[28] on 7 Deadly Sins on Showtime,[29] on the pilot episode on Fluffy Breaks Even, and The Kyle Files.[30]

In France, it appeared in an episode devoted to Las Vegas of the television program Drôles de villes pour une rencontre.[31]

In Spain, it appeared in the 33rd episode of the seventh season of the television program Madrileños por el mundo,[32] dedicated to Las Vegas, and also in the tenth episode of the second season of the television program Viajeros Cuatro,[33] also dedicated to Las Vegas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richa Fulara. In Pics: Heart Attack Grill- A Restaurant Known For Spanking Customers If They Don’t Finish Their Food. - ED Times. September 7, 2021.
  2. ^ Videos about spankings in Heart Attack Grill - YouTube
  3. ^ a b c d Edelhauser, Kristin (26 February 2007). "Heart Attack Grill-an anti-marketing strategy that works". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  4. ^ Lee, Robyn. "Heart Attack Grill Is Up Front About Slowly Killing You | A Hamburger Today". Aht.seriouseats.com. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
  5. ^ by (2015-05-29). "In Honor of National Burger Day, Meet the 20,000-Calorie Hamburger » Northern Ag Network". Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  6. ^ Martin, Bradley (February 20, 2017). "A Quick Demise for the Heart Attack Grill on the Strip". Eater Las Vegas.
  7. ^ "Heart Attack Grill". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  8. ^ Briggs, Bill. "Heart Attack Grill serves bypass burgers, flatliner fries". msn.com. Archived from the original on 2010-11-11.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "Heart Attack Grill". Popgive.com. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  11. ^ a b Jensen, Edythe (June 1, 2011), "Chandler Heart Attack Grill Closes", The Arizona Republic, archived from the original on March 4, 2016, retrieved February 20, 2020
  12. ^ Wolke, Alice (May 13, 2011), Protest Greets 'Heart Attack Grill' Opening in Dallas, myfoxdfw.com, archived from the original on August 21, 2011
  13. ^ "Is Heart Attack Grill in cardiac arrest?". Dallasnews.com. October 13, 2011. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  14. ^ "Heart Attack Grill Continues Death Spasms". Dallasobserver.com. October 14, 2011. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Heart Attack Grill Las Vegas". Vegas Food & Fun. September 5, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  17. ^ "Heart Attack Grill owner defends Americans right to eat bypass burgers". 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2023-01-23.
  18. ^ Johnson, Weldon B. (March 3, 2011), "575-pound Heart Attack Grill spokesman dies", The Arizona Republic, Gannett, OCLC 61312426, archived from the original on March 6, 2016, retrieved March 4, 2011
  19. ^ a b DeLucia, Matt (February 15, 2012). "Man suffers heart attack while dining at Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas". Fox 5 Vegas. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  20. ^ Jaslow, Ryan (February 15, 2012). "Man suffers heart attack at Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas: Report". CBS News. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  21. ^ "Man suffers heart attack at Heart Attack Grill - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU". FOX5 Vegas. 2011-07-27. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  22. ^ a b Paul Takahashi (February 11, 2013). "Heart Attack Grill spokesman dies from heart attack". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  23. ^ AP (April 23, 2012). "2nd patron falls ill at hospital-themed restaurant". Associated Press. Retrieved February 23, 2012.[dead link]
  24. ^ "Waitresses Dressed as Nurses Rile Real RNs". FoxNews.com. December 9, 2006. Archived from the original on March 12, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  25. ^ ""Naughty nurses" prescribe controversy". The Associated Press. The Denver Post. December 9, 2006. Archived from the original on 2022-05-04. the attorney general's office wrote Basso a letter informing him that he is illegally using the word "nurse" at his restaurant and on his Web site.
  26. ^ Nightline from ABC News: The Heart Attack Grill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqf_SIQ3JAk
  27. ^ CBS. November 25, 2008. A Meal To Die For on YouTube.
  28. ^ "خواطر 10 - الحلقة 7 - الأكل المزيف - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ "The Kyle Files Episode 1". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  31. ^ Le restaurant de la crise cardiaque - Extrait "Drôles de villes pour une rencontre" en streaming | France tv
  32. ^ «La hamburguesa con más calorías del mundo» - Madrileños por el mundo - Telemadrid. 25 de abril de 2017.
  33. ^ «El gran reto de Las Vegas: si no te acabas esta hamburguesa de ocho pisos y 20.000 calorías recibirás unos azotes» - Viajeros Cuatro - Cuatro. 8 de septiembre de 2019.

External links[edit]

33°18′19″N 111°56′53″W / 33.305183°N 111.947991°W / 33.305183; -111.947991