This time of year, Cornwall's Tavern in Boston would usually be booked with back-to-back Christmas parties and packed with college students celebrating the holidays.
Instead, John Beale, who owns the place with his wife, Pam, sits in the back, reading the newspaper, as Christmas music wafts down on the one lone customer having lunch. When a second customer shows up, John turns to welcome him, waving his arm at the empty space. "You can sit anywhere you want," John offers.
It's anything but a usual season.