Kingston business owner picks fight with HBO's John Oliver after host buys shuttered Red Lobster

The owner of Deising's Bakery and Restaurant in Kingston told News 12 that HBO host John Oliver swooped into town and ate the owner's lunch.

Ben Nandy

Jun 5, 2024, 10:36 PM

Updated 18 days ago


The owner of Deising's Bakery and Restaurant in Kingston told News 12 that HBO host John Oliver swooped into town and ate the owner's lunch.
Once Eric Deising heard the nearby Red Lobster was closing, he saw an opportunity to upgrade his business.
"I'm one of the vultures who was circling around Red Lobster," Deising said.
He taped a note to the front door of the Red Lobster just outside Kingston asking to buy some of the equipment inside.
"I need a 36-inch flat grill/oven and a commercial kitchen convection oven if you have them," he wrote.
He then learned of John Oliver's latest stunt for his satirical Sunday evening program, “Last Week Tonight."
To end this past Sunday's show, Oliver discussed winner-take-all auctions for the entire contents of Red Lobster restaurants around America.
His fans knew what was coming next.
"We did participate in one [of the auctions] for the contents of this Red Lobster in Kingston, New York, and we [expletive censored] won everything inside it!" Oliver announced to raucous laughter and cheers from the in-studio audience.
If the nearby Red Lobster did in fact have the items Deising was seeking, it is clear where they are now.
The 'Last Week Tonight' staff set up the entire restaurant including tables, chairs and a lobster tank in the studio.
"John – He's just beating me all over the place," Deising said laughing. "Congratulations on your new store."
Oliver is known for over-the-top stunts. Previously, to highlight problems with the debt selling and collection industries, Oliver bought $15 million in debt for just $60,000 and then forgave it all.
He also once started a weekslong fake fight with the entire city of Danbury, Connecticut, which escalated to the city renaming its sewage plant after Oliver, "because it's full of crap, just like you," the mayor said to Oliver.
So what is going to be the fallout from this week's Red Lobster segment, now that a local business owner has called out the host? And what is Oliver doing to do with all the contents of the shuttered restaurant?
"I got into this because I was looking for a piece of equipment," Deising said, addressing Oliver directly. "If you don't need that – because I don't think you need it for biscuits – let me know."
Deising also resented Oliver's sharing Red Lobster biscuits with his audience.
Deising said that for Oliver to make good on the restaurant item purchases, he should consider tossing around some of Deising's famous biscuits.
News 12 reached out to HBO to ask what the “Last Week Tonight” staff is going to do with the equipment and furniture they won in that auction and is awaiting a response.
Deising is not the only enemy Oliver made this past Sunday.
Oliver said the defunct Red Lobster location is in Kingston, though it is just outside Kingston in the Town of Ulster, irking town officials.
"If he bought everything from the Kingston location, he has nothing," a spokesperson for Ulster Town Supervisor James Quigley said over the phone Wednesday, "because the Red Lobster is in the Town of Ulster."

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