RPG Thinktank – Fantasy Taverns With Party-Forming Plot Hooks

This week’s RPG brainstorming is all about ideas for taverns and plot-hooks which turns strangers in a party of adventurers. It is a problem every GM has faced at the start of a campaign – how to get the players’ unlikely selection of characters to meet and band together in a way which even vaguely makes sense.
Where is the tavern? Who runs it? Who are tavern’s patrons and what happens which makes strangers work together as a team?