The worst thing to ever happen to the neighborhood was the addition of the Pathways drug treatment center at Pershing and DeBaliviere - I've seen some f-ed up people around there. I don't know how they were allowed to open up there, but perhaps since there were far less condo owners and far more renters in the neighborhood at the time, the neighbors didn't have as much clout as they would now. There used to be a corner market and a coffee shop and some other stuff there that would be nice to have back. Prime retail space.
The old Movie Stop building houses a graphic design firm that appears closed all the time and adds virtually nothing to the street life in the neighborhood.
That strip center sucks - I've you've ever seen pictures of the old Garavelli's and the other buildings that used to be there, you'd weep. Gasm, you're right about the neighborhood needing a watering hole. My friends and I tried to adopt Q's as our "home base" when we all lived there, but it just wasn't our kind of place. It needs a nice comfy bar with no attitude. That's why I was not a fan of Nik's - the place was cool, but I got sick of the attitude from the servers.