an upscale (place)

A restaurant, club, gym, apartment building, or other place that's really nice and expensive-looking can be called "upscale".

"Upscale" is mostly a positive term. People use it to compare a luxurious and expensive place to other places that are "down-market" or "low-rent". So calling a place "upscale" can sometimes seem snobby because it seems that you're looking down on places that aren't as nice.

English speakers use "upscale" to describe an expensive place, but usually not an item like a coat, a watch, or a bottle of liquor. For those things, you can use the phrase "high-end" instead.

This phrase appears in these lessons: