Staff at Bewleys on Dublin's Grafton Street are to be made redundant as the café closes for refurbishment.
It is expected the café will be shut for at least six months, leaving 140 people without work.
Chief executive John Cahill told the Irish Times it was "deeply regrettable" the plan would result in reundancies and said: "We are also sorry to disrupt our very loyal customers during this period."
In a statement this morning, the company said the café's refurbishment was "an initiative to secure its long term future on Grafton Street where the café has a massive rent burden (of €1.5m) and is currently significantly loss-making (at a rate of €1.2m per year)".
The rent was described in the statement as "a legacy of the unsustainable Irish property bubble" and added a third party arbitrator established a market-reflective rent in January 2012 of €728,000 per year, "but the higher rent still prevails".
The café has not been renovated since 2005. It is spread across a number of floors, an arrangement the company today said was "complex and expensive to operate". The new café will be in the basement and ground floor.
The café is expected to close its doors next month and reopen in September after a €1m upgrade which will make the premises smaller and see the business offer a more limited range of food.