Does the word inner-city sound natural in the following?

Turmeric drinks became popular in the West when customers began to request turmeric lattes at the most fashionable inner-city coffee shops.

I know it's grammatical, but does the image of "inner-city" clash with "fashionable"?

I found the sentence in an EFL magazine published in Taiwan.

  • It does sound slightly odd. Coffee shops of a particular kind may be found in inner cities, though, thinking of inner cities I know like NY, there are not so many of them...they are coffee shops in parts of the inner cities undergoing gentrification... – Lambie Aug 17 '18 at 16:20
  • In AmE, inner-city is a euphemism to replace ghetto, the rundown section of a city suffering from "urban blight" which is characterized by abandoned buildings and residential buildings in a poor state of repair (often because of absentee landlords), substandard municipal services, higher incidences of violent crime and drug-abuse, overcrowded classrooms, and a dearth of places to shop for groceries including fresh vegetables. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 17 '18 at 17:12
  • Is it possible for "inner-city" to refer to cities away from the coast, as in Australia? – Apollyon Aug 18 '18 at 10:04
  • @Apollyon: Not in AmE. Inland cities is how it would be said – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 18 '18 at 14:09
  • Is the image of the OP sentence comparable to that of a Chanel boutique in a ghetto? – Apollyon Aug 18 '18 at 14:12

It makes perfect sense to me, in British culture. Some of our inner cities are deprived, and others are trendy areas. If you talk about inner-city schools, it usually means deprivation, but if you talk about inner-city restaurants or coffee shops then they can easily be fashionable.

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