The end of 2007, just before the closure of the Paper Heart gallery, performance space, and beer and wine bar, was the approximate heyday of the Grand Avenue alt-arts scene, at least so far. Not that it isn't still fun and diverting and full of promise for the future, but we'll get to that.
Years of struggling to keep more than one bar of any kind, let alone more than one decent bar, open anywhere in the Seventh-to-15th-Avenue stretch, or to keep some sort of artsy endeavor open in the storefront between Trunk Space and Bikini Lounge (a.k.a. the one decent bar, and only if that's your groove), not to mention keeping food available in anything other than the dodgy spot around the corner by the boxing gym (hurray, Bragg's Factory Diner, but still no dinner) have been rough for people who simply want to hang out and have fun. But the situation's been even harder on the remaining retailers and venue operators, who depend on synergy to keep crowds at the break-even level.
See also: - Three and a Half Kick-Ass Christmas Plays in the Valley - Th [sic] Sense: Sic of the F#@*ing Heat! Is, Nonetheless, Fully Clothed -- but Fun - Head: The Musical Is Pure, Horrifying Joy at Soul Invictus