Winner of Restaurant Rumble, McLin’s, shows southern hospitality in food and atmosphere

Ray and Evelyn McLin converted the old Daleville Baptist Church into a restaurant and opened their doors in 1968.
Hometown Tour 2023: Taste and see the Daleville classic McLin's Restaurant
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 3:13 PM CDT
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DALEVILLE, Ala. (WTVY) -Fort Novosel brings people from all over the world to Daleville, Alabama. For those who move here to work on the base- home can feel very far away, but one restaurant does its best to make newcomers feel at home.

McLin’s Restaurant is a staple in Daleville and has historic ties to the military base. Current owner Matt McLin’s grandfather, Ray, was the Command Sargeant Major on the former Fort Rucker.

The family made good use of the architectural layout of the building. The small rooms that used to be Sunday school classrooms are now used for private dining.

The restaurant pays homage to its military roots throughout the restaurant with signed pictures from former Generals adorning the walls in places of honor. “Most of the pictures are former Generals from Fort Rucker. Some are Generals that we’ve had come through visiting posts. A few other things we have are a letter from former President George Bush he wrote a letter to my grandad and so we thought that was pretty neat.”

Active soldiers and veterans frequent the restaurant for lunch and dinner. One group of veterans visits every month and has been since the 60′s.

McLin said his employees are more like family, many of them going on 20-30 years working at the restaurant. The food they serve has just as much love poured into it.

Every meal at McLin’s starts with a pickle and onion plate. “People like to eat raw onion and pickles with our catfish,” commented McLin.

From fried and grilled seafood, to one of the top 5 steaks rated in Alabama, McLin’s menu has a little something for everybody. While the food is essential, the welcoming atmosphere is what owner Matt McLin is most proud of.

“The relationships you make and get to experience are they just make it all worthwhile.”

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