This street, which runs ³⁄₁₀ of a mile from Fuhrman Avenue E to E Allison Street, was established as an alley in 1890 as part of the Denny–Fuhrman Addition to the City of Seattle, but only received a name in 1936. It was named for Portage Bay, the eastern arm of Lake Union, which it parallels. Portage Bay was in turn named for the portage from Union Bay (part of Lake Washington) to Lake Union over the Montlake Isthmus, which is today the Montlake Cut of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Sign at corner of Fuhrman Avenue E, Eastlake Avenue E, and Portage Bay Place E, August 24, 2009
Sign at corner of Fuhrman Avenue E, Eastlake Avenue E, and Portage Bay Place E, August 24, 2009. Portage By Pl is an error; it should read Portage Bay Pl E, as it’s [[Portage Bay] [Place]], not [[Portage] [Bay Place]]. The original Red Robin restaurant was founded at this intersection in 1940. It has since been demolished, but I’ve seen imagery of this sign — including the error — on the walls of other Red Robin locations. Photograph by Benjamin Lukoff. Copyright © 2009 Benjamin Lukoff. All rights reserved.

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