Chicago's Rat Hole restored after being vandalized with 'plaster-like substance,' state official says

The Chicago Rat Hole, the holy grail of sidewalk rodentia, has been restored after being defaced on Friday. 

Rep. Ann Williams posted on Twitter, saying area residents braved the wintry conditions to scrape out a "plaster-like substance" from the hole. It's unknown who filled the rat hole and why.

"This is what community is all about," Williams said.

The cartoonish rat-shaped sidewalk imprint in Roscoe Village comes after the short-lived Chicago animal-based phenomena such as Chance the Snapper and Chonkasaurus.

Roscoe Village recently began accepting name ideas for the viral attraction, but submissions have closed.

An official name for the rat hole has not yet been announced.

Chicago Rat Hole origins

At the start of the New Year, local artist and comedian Winslow Dumaine was walking in the 1900 block of West Roscoe Street when he stumbled across the imprint of a rat pressed into the concrete. 

"What I found was very much like Looney Tunes, I guess. Just a full rat splat in the wet pavement," said Dumaine. "I just busted out laughing when I saw it."

Dumaine snapped a picture with his cellphone and put it on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Above the picture he wrote, "Had to make a pilgrimage to the Chicago rat hole."

In just two days, it had five million views. Since then, admirers have placed candles, cheese and stuffed animals near the landmark

"Rat hole just blew up. It was it's time to shine," said Dumaine. "It's very universal. Everywhere got rats. Everywhere got mistakes. And this one is a rat making a pretty profound mistake."

Neighbor Cindy Nelson said the imprint has been on the sidewalk for the 20 years she has lived on the block. And she is convinced it's a squirrel that fell out of a tall tree that used to grow here. 

"Everyone who's been here this long says it's a squirrel," said Nelson. "I didn't see it personally, but I don't believe a rat hops in the air and belly flops straight down."