The Leaky Cauldron, currently run by Jennifer Thompson, is an old-established, and highly popular, watering hole, disguised to Muggle eyes as a broken-down shop front on Charing Cross Road. It also provides the pedestrian access to Diagon Alley in its back yard.
Built in 1500 by Daisy Dodderidge, the first landlady and proprietress, it has flourished under liberal and fascist regimes alike, always managing to keep its doors open, and the passing trade passing through.
Great figures on both ends of the spectrum, from Voldemort to the Weasleys, and from Harry and Hagrid to Dumbledore and Dobby, have rubbed shoulders here with the throngs preparing to brave Diagon Alley, and the glares of Gringotts' goblins.
Former landlords and landladies include the Protean Tom, who ran the place for most of the 20th century, and Hannah Abbott, wife of Neville Longbottom.
Many people looking to discover up-to-the-minute gossip, if not news, find the Cauldron a better, warmer source than the Daily Prophet, although some Prophet stories have certainly been hatched within these walls.
Muggle-Borns, and particularly Muggle parents, often get their first taste of the Wizarding world, literally as likely as not, here, and so it holds a special place in many students' hearts, no matter how long since they graduated.