Sydney entrepreneur and publican James Miller who, with business partner Jaime Wirth is responsible for breathing new life into the local pub scene, has tragically died at 38 years of age. According to reports, Miller’s body was discovered on Sunday night by flatmate Nasser Elkordi, with the cause of death yet to be confirmed.

Miller founded the hugely successful Sumo Salad fresh fast food chain, and with Jaime Wirth formed the ever-evolving hospitality empire Drink ‘n’ Dine, under which they transformed some of Sydney’s decrepit pokies-stuffed inner-East corner hotels into a food, beer and design driven pub Renaissance, with a portfolio including the Norfolk Hotel, The Carrington and the Abercrombie.

Following Miller’s shock death Jaime Wirth released the following statement:

I will remember James as an endlessly energetic, generous and intensely loyal friend. His charisma would light up a room and his stories would keep me entertained in the office for hours. He had a fierce business drive and intelligence but also a real understanding of what was important to him – friends, family and enjoying every day. I learned a lot from James in business, friendship and life and i will miss him greatly.

My heart goes out to his family, son Xavier and his great number of friends. He will be dearly missed by all.

Miller is survived by his four-year-old son, Xavier.