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Owner of Heart Attack Grill reacts to medical scare

Owner of Heart Attack Grill reacts to medical scare

By Molly Waldron. CREATED Feb 15, 2012

 Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Heart Attack Grill is making headlines across the country after a man suffered a heart attack while eating there.

Action News spoke with the owner of the restaurant about what happened, and whether he thinks the incident will impact business.

"I looked over and saw that he was sweating and having chest pains," a waitress who witnessed it said. "So I went and got Jon, and he called paramedics."

Within minutes, paramedics arrived on scene and rushed the victim to the hospital. 

"It was absolutely horrifying," Jon Basso, the owner of the Heart Attack Grill, said. "If you've ever actually witnessed that first-hand...the sweats, the slurred speech, the pounding chest, the passing's horrible."

The chain's slogan is "a burger to die for," employees refer to guests as "patients," and a sign reads "Caution: This establishment is bad for your health" -- all plays on words that became all too real on Saturday night.

"When one of our fellow patients actually has a coronary issue and is wheeled out by paramedics, it's not a laughing matter," Basso said. "It should not be swept under the rug. I sell burgers and fries, but I sell food for thought, too. If you're willing to digest the latter, you'll be a lot better off."

Little is known about the condition of the man who suffered the heart attack, but witnesses said he appeared to be in his forties and was not overweight. 

The Heart Attack Grill does not plan to make any changes following the medical scare; and they say business won't be impacted because they offer an unmatched dining experience. 

With a menu known for its Quadruple Bypass Burger, Butterfat Milkshakes and Flat-Line Pure-Lard Fries, those who visit know they won't be counting calories. They expect to be served the ultimate junk food feast. 

"We want people to really think about their behavior. Sure, we're having fun. but there is a very serious undertone to the Heart Attack Grill," Basso said. "We won't change for any reason."