The two Bewley's Oriental Cafes will shut at the end of the month, leaving 234 workers out of work, owner Patrick Campbell said.
"It's like part of Dublin dying," he said.
The parent company has prospered and grown in other directions, but the Dublin cafes on Grafton and Westmoreland streets have run up losses of $5 million since 1996.
Costs soared, with Grafton Street named as the fifth most-expensive shopping street in the world, behind Fifth Avenue in New York, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, London's Oxford Street and the Champs Elysees. Annual rents on Grafton Street now run to $4,200 per square meter.
The Bewley group also said this year's smoking ban had reduced business by 10 percent and they could not get permission to place tables outside for smokers.
"We are, as a society, allowing ourselves to become sterile," Campbell said. "We are going to end up with homogenous streets, which don't have any character. We are also losing something."