SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A heart attack caused the death of well-known Ocean Beach restaurateur Mike Hardin, according to an official in the Central California city where the burger-and-fries icon died.

Hardin, the 56-year-old owner-operator of Hodad's, was found dead of natural causes in a motel off State Route 99 in Chowchilla on February 5th, Madera County sheriff's Lt. Bill Ward said.

Hardin had checked in the previous night. He reportedly had been traveling to visit family in the Pacific Northwest.

Hardin's parents opened Hodad's hamburger restaurant in Ocean Beach in 1969. He became a neighborhood fixture and was known, since taking over the business, as "Bossman," a moniker he had tattooed onto his knuckles.

In 2011, Hardin opened a second Hodad's on Broadway at 10th Avenue in downtown San Diego, and the following year started a baseball-season concession at Petco Park.