Jiyugaoka is still one of the preferred residential and shopping areas for the well-heeled spawn of Tokyo's old-school money. By day, fancy patisseries with French names and sleek fashion boutiques cater to young ladies from well-to-do families out browsing for tea and cakes or designer clothes. By night, dozens of restaurants and bars offer a smorgasbord of food and drink to young couples. It is international, eclectic and, as a rule, expensive.

But a stone's throw away from the station's main exit, hugging the side of the Toyoko Line tracks, is a somewhat ramshackle multitiered building called Jiyugaoka Depato. Though depato is short for department store, it isn't what you might think, especially in this area: The ground-floor houses an arcade of small individual shops selling everything from home appliances to thermal underwear, while the upper floors house an equally unpretentious collection of restaurants and bars.

Jiyugaoka Depato seems oddly out of place in an otherwise upmarket neighborhood. But Le Carre Blanc, the building's latest and most popular drinking spot, seems right at home. In less than six months, Christofer Cousin, the bar's creator and master, has managed to amass a steady client base, including every party-oriented expat in the greater Meguro area. Some patrons even come out from the city to party at Le Carre, which is no mean feat for a bar hidden away on the third floor in the suburbs.