Because bratwursts possess special powers that other sausages do not, I spent a recent evening at Bavarian Brathaus in Cary. After enjoying a certain amount of encased pork and German beer, I ducked out to visit the bathroom.
And there, on the counter next to the sink, I saw something I've never seen in any restaurant, anywhere: an aerosol can of Brut deodorant.
My first instinct was to wonder if a diner would really untuck his shirt and jam an aluminum can beneath it, misting his pits before returning to dinner. So I gave the can a shake, expecting it be filled. It was not. It was nearly empty.
Beside the deodorant was a bottle of something called Pinaud Citrus Musk. I left both alone. Later, intrigued by the thinking behind this toiletry arrangement, I called Gene Gibbons, the restaurant's owner.
I had a theory about the Brut, that it was a manly scent for a place that prides itself on beer and sausages. But Gibbons is a golfer, and modeled his deodorant and cologne choices after what's available in the locker room at course No. 2 at Pinehurst.
"It's just refreshing, you know?"
And the ladies seem to love it. They routinely comment to Gibbons that the smell of their companions improves after a visit to the water closet. Men ask him where to buy the citrus musk. Online, Gibbons says. (It's only $6.99 at Texas Beauty Supply, if you're interested).
As for what kind of diner would practically undress himself to use a communal can of deodorant inside a German restaurant, Gibbons just laughed. "It's not a roll-on!"