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D.C. group calls for closure of Heart Attack Grill

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Menu offerings and warnings are posted in the window of the Heart Attack Grill on Fremont Street, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in Las Vegas. The warnings nearly proved true for a man who was eating at the downtown Las Vegas restaurant that offers "Bypass" burgers, "Flatliner " fries and free meals to people over 350 pounds. A man was wheeled out of the restaurant on a stretcher Saturday evening, Feb. 11, 2011 after a medical episode that restaurant employees say looked like a heart attack. A Las Vegas fire spokesman tells The Associated Press paramedics were summoned Saturday evening and a man was indeed hospitalized. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Pedestrians pass by the Heart Attack Grill on Fremont Street, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in Las Vegas. Menu warnings nearly proved true for a man who was eating at the downtown Las Vegas restaurant that offers "Bypass" burgers, "Flatliner " fries and free meals to people over 350 pounds. A man was wheeled out of the restaurant on a stretcher Saturday evening, Feb. 11, after a medical episode that restaurant employees say looked like a heart attack. A Las Vegas fire spokesman tells The Associated Press paramedics were summoned Saturday evening and a man was indeed hospitalized. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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LAS VEGAS >> A Washington, D.C.-based anti-meat advocacy group is asking the owner of a Las Vegas restaurant that prides itself on unhealthy meals to shut down after a customer suffered a medical episode and was hospitalized.

Officials for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said Thursday they sent a letter to Heart Attack Grill owner Jon Basso, asking him to "declare moral bankruptcy" and close the restaurant.

Susan Levin, the group’s director of nutrition education, says the incident should be a wake-up call that bypass operations aren’t funny.

Basso says he hasn’t received the letter. He previously expressed sorrow for the victim, an unidentified man in his 40s.

Basso says it wasn’t a stunt, and he felt bad that tourists in the restaurant at the time thought it was a joke.

“It was no joke,” said Jon Basso, who promotes himself “Doctor Jon,” his scantily-clad waitresses as nurses and customers as patients.

Basso said he could tell right away the man in his 40s eating a Triple Bypass burger was having trouble. He was sweating, shaking and could barely talk.

Paramedics were called Saturday night, fire spokesman Tim Szymanski said, and the man was hospitalized. His name and information about his condition weren’t made public.

Giggles can be heard on the soundtrack of amateur video showing the man on a stretcher being wheeled out of the restaurant where patrons pass an antique ambulance at the door and a sign: “Caution! This establishment is bad for your health.”

Eaters are given surgical gowns as they choose from a calorically extravagant menu offering “Bypass” burgers, “Flatliner” fries, buttermilk shakes and free meals to folks over 350 pounds.

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